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The Official StoryDebunking "Gutter Science"
After 15 days of taking testimony and more than a year's legal deliberation, DEA Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young formally urged the DEA to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. In a September 1988 judgment, he ruled: "The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision . . . It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record. In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."
Yet former DEA Administrator John Lawn, his successor, Robert Bonner, and current DEA Administrator John Constantine - non-doctors all! - have refused to comply and have continued to deprive persons of medical cannabis, according to their own personal discretion.
Wasting Time, Wasting Lives
More than 100 years have passed since the 1894 British Raj commission study of hashish smokers in India reported cannabis use was harmless and even helpful. Numerous studies since have all agreed: The most prominent being Siler, LaGuardia, Nixon's Shafer Commission, Canada's LeDain Commission, and the California Research Advisory Commission.
Concurrently, American presidents have praised hemp, the USDA amassed volumes of data showing its value as a natural resource, and in 1942 the Roosevelt administration even made Hemp for Victory, a film glorifying our patriotic hemp farmers. That same year, Germany produced The Humorous Hemp Primer, a comic book, written in rhyme, extolling hemp's virtues. (See appendix I of the paper version of this book.)
Yet even the humane use of hemp for medicine is now denied. Asked in late 1989 about the DEA's failure to implement his decision quoted above, Judge Young responded that administrator John Lawn was being given time to comply.
More than a year after that ruling, Lawn officially refused to reschedule cannabis, again classing it as a Schedule I "dangerous" drug that is not even allowed to be used as medicine.
Decrying this needless suffering of helpless Americans, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML) and the Family Council on Drug Awareness quickly demanded Lawn's resignation. His successors, Bonner and now Constantine, retain the same policy.
What hypocrisy allows public officials to scoff at the facts and deny the truth? How do they rationalize their atrocities? How? They invent their own experts.
Since 1976, our federal government (e.g., NIDA, NIH, DEA*, and Action), police sponsored groups (like DARE*), and special interest groups (like PDFA*) have proclaimed to public, press, and parent groups alike that they have "absolute evidence" of the shocking negative effects of marijuana smoking.
* National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Drug Enforcement Agency, Drug Abuse Resistance Education, Partnership for a Drug Free America. All subsequent researchers found Heath's marijuana findings to be of no value, because carbon monoxide poisoning and other factors were totally left out.
When U.S. government sponsored research prior to 1976 indicated that cannabis was harmless or beneficial, the methodology of how each study was done was always presented in detail in the reports; e.g., read The Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana (1976) and you will see exactly what the methodology of each medical study was.
However, when our government bureaucrats deliberately sponsored negative marijuana research, time and time again Playboy magazine, NORML, High Times, etc. had to sue under the new Freedom of Information Act to find out the actual laboratory methodology these "experiments" employed.
What they found was shocking.
Dr. Heath/Tulane Study, 1974
Brain Damage & Dead Monkeys
In 1974, California Governor Ronald Reagan was asked about decriminalizing marijuana.
After producing the Heath/Tulane University study, the so-called "Great Communicator" proclaimed, "The most reliable scientific sources say permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana." (L.A. Times)
The report from Dr. Heath had concluded that Rhesus monkeys, smoking the equivalent of only 30 joints a day, began to atrophy and die after 90 days.
And ever since, dead brain cells found in monkeys who were forced to smoke marijuana has been given maximum scare play in federal booklets and government sponsored propaganda literature against pot.
Senator Eastland of Mississippi used it throughout the mid-1970s to horrify and stop national legislators from supporting NORML's decriminalization bills in Congress, mostly sponsored by the late Senator Jacob Javitts of New York.
Reports of the study have also been distributed by the hierarchy of drug rehabilitation professionals as part of their rationalization for wanting to get kids off pot, based on supposed scientific studies. It is used to terrorize parent groups, church organizations, etc., who redistribute it still further.
Heath killed the half-dead monkeys, opened their brains, counted the dead brain cells, and then took control monkeys, who hadn't smoked marijuana, killed them too, and counted their brain cells. The pot smoking monkeys had enormous amounts of dead brain cells as compared to the "straight" monkeys.
Ronald Reagan's pronouncement was probably based on the fact that marijuana smoking was the only difference in the two sets of monkeys. Perhaps Reagan trusted the federal research to be real and correct. Perhaps he had other motives.
Whatever their reasons, this is what the government ballyhooed to press and PTA, who trusted the government completely.
In 1980, Playboy and NORML finally received for the first time after six years of requests and suing the government an accurate accounting of the research procedures used in the infamous report:
When NORML/Playboy hired researchers to examine the reported results against the actual methodology, they laughed.
Suffocation of Research Animals
As reported in Playboy, the Heath "Voodoo" Research methodology involved strapping Rhesus monkeys into a chair and pumping them with equivalent of 63 Colombian strength joints in "five minutes, through gas masks," losing no smoke. Playboy discovered that Heath had administered 63 joints in five minutes over just three months instead of administering 30 joints per day over a one-year period as he had first reported. Heath did this, it turned out, in order to avoid having to pay an assistant's wages every day for a full year.
The monkeys were suffocating! Three to five minutes of oxygen deprivation causes brain damage "dead brain cells." (Red Cross Lifesaving and Water Safety Manual) With the concentration of smoke used, the monkeys were a bit like a person running the engine of a car in a locked garage for 5, 10, 15 minutes at a time every day!
The Heath Monkey study was actually a study in animal asphyxiation and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Among other things, Heath had completely (intentionally? incompetently?) omitted discussion of the carbon monoxide the monkeys inhaled.
Carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that kills brain cells, is given off by any burning object. At that smoke concentration, the monkeys were, in effect, like a person locked in a garage with the car engine left running for five, 10, 15 minutes at a time every day!
All subsequent researchers agree the findings in Heath's experiment regarding marijuana were of no value, because carbon monoxide poisoning and other factors were totally left out and had not been considered in the report. This study and others, like Dr. Gabriel Nahas' 1970s studies, tried to somehow connect the THC metabolites routinely found in the fatty tissue of human brains, reproductive organs, and other fatty areas of the body to the dead brain cells in the suffocated monkeys.
Now, in 1999, 17 years have passed and not a single word of Dr. Heath's or Dr. Nahas' research has been verified! But their studies are still hauled out by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the Drug Enforcement Administration, city and state narcotics bureaus, plus politicians and, in virtually all public instances, held up as scientific proof of the dangers of marijuana.
This is U.S. government propaganda and disinformation at its worst! The public paid for these studies and has the right to the correct information and history being taught in our taxpayer sponsored schools.
In 1996, Gabriel Nahas, in France, sued Mishka, the translator of the French edition of this book, "L'Emperor est Nu!” for damages. Mishka wrote that Nahas' studies were viewed by the world as garbage. The French court, upon hearing all the testimony by Nahas, and after Nahas had spent an equivalent of tens of thousands of American dollars on legal fees, awarded him its highest insult: one franc, the equivalent of approximately 15 cents American for damages, and no legal fees!
Lingering THC Metabolites
It Stays in Your System for 30 Days
The government also claimed that since "THC metabolites" stay in the body's fatty cells for up to 30 days after ingestion, just one joint was very dangerous; inferring that the long range view of what these THC metabolites eventually could do to the human race could not even be guessed and other pseudo-scientific double-talk (e.g., phrases like: "might be," "could mean," "possibly," "perhaps," etc.)*
* "May, might, could, and possibly are not scientific conclusions." Dr. Fred Oerther, M.D., September 1986.
Government's Own Experts Say That Metabolites Are
Non-Toxic, Harmless Residue
We interviewed three doctors of national reputation either currently working (or having worked) for the U.S. government on marijuana research:
- Dr. Thomas Ungerlieder, M.D., UCLA, appointed by Richard Nixon in 1969 to the President's Select Committee on Marijuana, re-appointed by Ford, Carter, and Reagan, and currently head of California's "Marijuana Medical Program;"
- Dr. Donald Tashkin, UCLA, M.D., for the last 29 years the U.S. government's and the world's leading marijuana researcher on pulmonary functions; and
- Dr. Tod Mikuriya, M.D., former national administrator and grant distributor of the U.S. government's marijuana research programs in the late 1960s.
In effect these doctors said that the active ingredients in THC are used-up in the first or second pass through the liver. The leftover THC metabolites then attach themselves, in a very normal way, to fatty deposits, for the body to dispose of later, which is a safe and perfectly natural process.
Many chemicals from foods, herbs, and medicines do this same thing all the time in your body. Most are not dangerous and THC metabolites show less toxic* potential than virtually any known metabolic leftovers in your body!
* The U.S. government has also known since 1946 that the oral dose of cannabis required to kill a mouse is about 40,000 times the dose required to produce typical symptoms of intoxication. (Mikuriya, Tod, Marijuana Medical Papers, 1976; Loewe, Journal of Pharmacological and Experimental Therapeutics, October, 1946.)
THC metabolites left in the body can be compared to the ash of a cigarette: The inert ingredient left over after the active cannabinoids have been metabolized by the body. These inert metabolites are what urinary analysis studies show when taken to discharge military or factory or athletic personnel for using, or being in the presence of cannabis within the last 30 days.
Lung Damage Studies
More Harmful Than Tobacco
According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes and tobacco smoking related diseases kill more than 430,000 Americans every year. Fifty million Americans smoke, and 3,000 teens start each day. The Berkeley carcinogenic tar studies of the late 1970s concluded that "marijuana is one-and-a-half times more carcinogenic than tobacco."
Not One Documented Case of Cancer
There are lung irritants involved in any smoke. Cannabis smoke causes mild irritation to the large airways of the lungs. Symptoms disappear when smoking is discontinued.
However, unlike tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke does not cause any changes in the small airways, the area where tobacco smoke causes long term and permanent damage. Additionally, a tobacco smoker will smoke 20 to 60 cigarettes a day, while a heavy marijuana smoker may smoke five to seven joints a day, even less when potent high-quality flower tops are available.
While tens of millions of Americans smoke pot regularly, cannabis has never caused a known case of lung cancer as of December 1997, according to America's foremost lung expert, Dr. Donald Tashkin of UCLA. He considers the biggest health risk to the lungs would be a person smoking 16 or more "large" spliffs a day of leaf/bud because of the hypoxia of too much smoke and not enough oxygen.
Tashkin feels there is no danger for anyone to worry about potentiating emphysema "in any way" by the use of marijuana totally the opposite of tobacco.
Cannabis is a complex, highly evolved plant. There are some 400 compounds in its smoke. Of these, 60 are presently known to have therapeutic value.
Cannabis may also be eaten, entirely avoiding the irritating effects of smoke. However, four times more of the active ingredients of smoked cannabis are absorbed by the human body than when the same amount is eaten. And the prohibition inflated price of black market cannabis, combined with harsh penalties for cultivation, prevent most persons from being able to afford the luxury of a less efficient, though healthier, means of ingestion.
Lab Studies Fail to Reflect the Real World
Studies have proven that many of the carcinogens in cannabis can be removed by using a water pipe system. Our government omitted this information and its significance when speaking to the press. At the same time politicians outlawed the sale of water pipes, labeling them "drug paraphernalia."
How Rumors Get Started
In 1976, Dr. Tashkin, M.D., UCLA, sent a written report to Dr. Gabriel Nahas at the Rheims, France, Conference on "Potential Cannabis Medical Dangers." That report became the most sensationalized story to come out of this negative world conference on cannabis.
This surprised Tashkin, who had sent the report to the Rheims conference as an afterthought.
What Tashkin reported to the Rheims conference was that only one of the 29 pulmonary areas of the human lung studied the large air passageway Did he find marijuana to be more of an irritant (by 15 times) than tobacco. This figure is insignificant, however, since Tashkin also notes that tobacco has almost no effect on this area. Therefore, 15 times almost nothing is still almost nothing. In any event, cannabis has a positive or neutral effect in most other areas of the lung. (See Chapter 7, "Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis.")
(Tashkin, Dr. Donald, UCLA studies, 1969-83; UCLA Pulmonary Studies, 1969-95.)
Afterwards in 1977, the U.S. government resumed funding for ongoing cannabis pulmonary studies which it had cut two years earlier when Tashkin reported encouraging therapeutic results with marijuana/lung studies. But now the government limited funding only to research to the large air passageway.
We have interviewed Dr. Tashkin dozens of times. In 1986 I asked him about an article he was preparing for the New England Journal of Medicine, indicating that cannabis smoke caused as many or more pre-cancerous lesions as tobacco in "equal" amounts.
Most people do not realize, nor are the media told, that any tissue abnormality (abrasion, eruption, or even redness) is called a pre-cancerous lesion. Unlike lesions caused by tobacco, the THC-related lesions contain no radioactivity.
We asked Tashkin how many persons had gone on to get lung cancer in these or any other studies of long-term cannabis-only smokers (Rastas, Coptics, etc.)
Sitting in his UCLA laboratory, Dr. Tashkin looked at me and said, "That's the strange part. So far no one we've studied has gone on to get lung cancer."
"Was this reported to the press?"
"Well, it's in the article," Dr. Tashkin said. "But no one in the press even asked. They just assumed the worst." His answer to us was still that not one single case of lung cancer in someone who only smoked cannabis has ever been reported. It should be remembered that he and other doctors had predicted 20 years ago, their certainty that hundreds of thousands of marijuana smokers would by now (1997) have developed lung cancer.
Emphysema Sufferers Benefit
During a later interview, Tashkin congratulated me on the tip I'd given him that marijuana used for emphysema produced good results among persons we knew.
He laughed at me originally, because he had presumed that marijuana aggravated emphysema, but after reviewing his evidence found that, except in the rarest of cases, marijuana was actually of great benefit to emphysema suffers due to the opening and dilation of the bronchial passages.
And so the relief reported to us by cannabis smoking emphysema patients was confirmed.
Marijuana smoke is not unique in its benefits to the lungs. Yerba Santa, Colt's foot, Horehound, and other herbs have traditionally been smoked to help the lungs.
Tobacco and its associated dangers have so prejudiced persons against "smoking" that most persons believe cannabis smoking to be as or more dangerous than tobacco. With research banned, these public health and safety facts are not readily available.
In December 1997, we asked Dr. Tashkin again, and he unequivocally stated that "marijuana does not cause or potentiate emphysema in any way." In addition, there has not been one case of lung cancer ever attributed to smoking cannabis.
. . . And So On
Most of the anti-marijuana literature we have examined does not cite as much as one single source for us to review. Others only refer to DEA or NIDA. The few studies we have been able to track down usually end up being anecdotal case histories, artificial groupings of data, or otherwise lacking controls and never replicated.
Reports of breast enlargement, obesity, addiction, and the like all remain unsubstantiated, and are given little credence by the scientific community. Other reports, like the temporary reduction in sperm count, are statistically insignificant to the general public, yet get blown far out of proportion when presented by the media. Still others, like the handful of throat tumors in the Sacramento area and the high rate of injuries reported in a Baltimore trauma unit are isolated clusters that run contrary to all other statistics and have never been replicated.
The spurious results of Heath, Nahas, and the pregnant mice and monkey studies at Temple University and UC Davis (where they injected mice with synthetic third-cousin analogues of THC) are now discredited in the body of scientific and medical literature.
Though these studies are not used in scientific discourse, mountains of DEA and pharmaceutical company-sponsored literature about the long-term possible effects of these metabolites on the brain and reproduction still goes to parent groups as if they were brand new studies. This disinformation is still very much alive in U.S. government, DEA, DARE, and PDFA reports.
(Read the 1982 N.I.H.; the National Academy of Science's evaluation on past studies; and the Costa Rica report, 1980.) No Harm to Human Brain or Intelligence Hemp has been used in virtually all societies since time immemorial as a work motivator and to highlight and renew creative energies.
Nahas' Prescription for Bloated Police Budgets
Incredibly, a famous study which found that cannabis reduces tumors (see Chapter 7), was originally ordered by the Federal Government on the premise that pot would hurt the immune system. This was based on the "Reefer Madness" studies done by the disreputable Dr. Gabriel Nahas of Columbia University in 1972.
This is the same Dr. Nahas who claimed his studies showed pot created chromosome, testosterone (male hormone) damage, and countless other horrible effects which suggested the breaking down of the immune system. Nahas' background is in the OSS/CIA and later the U.S. where he worked closely with Lyndon LaRouche and Kurt Waldheim.
In 1998, Nahas is still the darling favorite of the DEA and NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) yet no anti-marijuana studies of Nahas' have every been replicated in countless other research attempts. Columbia University specifically disassociated itself from Nahas' marijuana research in a specially called press conference in 1975!
Old, discredited Nahas studies are still trotted out by the Drug Enforcement Administration today and deliberately given to unknowledgeable parents' groups, churches, and PTAs as valid research regarding the evils of pot.
The dissemination of Nahas'* dangerous horror stories is paid for with your tax dollars, even years after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1976 specifically forbade Nahas from getting another penny of U.S. government money for cannabis studies because of his embarrassing research in the early 1970s.
* Nahas, in December 1983, under ridicule from his peers and a funding cut-off from NIDA renounced all his old THC metabolite build-up and unique chromosome Petri dish tissue damage studies, conclusions, and extrapolations.
Yet the DEA, NIDA, VISTA, the "War on Drugs," and now-deceased writer Peggy Mann (in Reader's Digest articles and her book Marijuana Alert, with foreword by Nancy Reagan) have used these discredited studies on parents' groups such as Parents for a Drug Free Youth, etc., often with Nahas as a highly paid guest lecturer, without a word of how his studies are really considered by this peers.
This, we assume, is done to scare parents, teachers, legislators and judges, using scientific terminology and bogus non-clinical statistics, ultimately aimed at selling more urine-testing equipment. Therefore, more profits are created for the drug-rehabilitation clinics and their staffs of professionals; and to maintain funding for the DEA, local police, judicial, penal, corrections and other government pork barrel, police state interests.
The "War on Drugs" is big money, so the shameless petitioning for more police and more jail cells continues. And we still have thousands of judges, legislators, police, Reader's Digest readers, and parents who have for years used and cited Nahas' studies in particular as the prime reasons to continue these unjust laws and to jail millions of Americans over the last decade.
The DEA, after Nahas' 1983 waffling renouncement, consciously and criminally continues to use his studies to polarize ignorant judges, politicians, press, and parent groups, who are unaware of Nahas' denouncement. These groups trust the government to tell them the truth their tax dollars paid for. Most of the media, press, and television commentators still use Nahas' 1970s, unreplicated studies as gospel, and much of the frightening folklore and street myths that are whispered around school yards spring from the deceitful "scientist's" work.
Refuted and never replicated results are still taught, while the honest researcher faces prison if he attempts to test any thoughts about the medical use of cannabis.
In fact, using Nahas' refuted and unreplicated synthetic THC Petri dish studies on the immune system, hysterical Families for Drug Free Youth, or "Just Say No" organizations have gotten the press to say marijuana could cause AIDS - which has no basis whatsoever, but the press published all this rhetoric creating more Reefer Madness!
Gabriel Nahas, in 1998, is living in Paris and goes around Europe teaching as gospel the same old lies to less informed Europeans. When asked to debate us (H.E.M.P.) on cannabis before the world press on June 18, 1993 in Paris, he first enthusiastically accepted until he found out that we would be speaking on all aspects of the hemp plant (e.g. paper, fiber, fuel, medicine). Then he declined, even though we met all of his requirements.
Radioactive Tobacco: The Untold Story
Tobacco smoking kills more persons each year than AIDS, heroin, crack, cocaine, alcohol, car accidents, fire, and murder combined. Cigarette smoking is as addictive as heroin, complete with withdrawal symptoms, and the percentage of relapses (75%) is the same as for "kicking" cocaine and heroin users.
It is far and away the number one cause of preventable death in the U.S. today. Tobacco smokers have ten times the lung cancer of non-smokers, twice the heart disease, and are three times more likely to die of heart disease if they do develop it. Yet tobacco is totally legal, and even receives the highest U.S. government farm subsidies of any agricultural product in America, all the while being our biggest killer! What total hypocrisy!
In the U.S. one in seven deaths are caused by smoking cigarettes. Women should know that lung cancer is more common than breast cancer in women who smoke and that smoking on the pill increases cancer and heart risks dramatically.
Seven million dollars a day promotes the tobacco business, and it is estimated that the cigarette industry needs about 3,000 new smokers a day to replace those who quit or die each day from smoking.
Kentucky's principal business and agriculture for 100 years (until 1890) was the healthful, versatile, and useful cannabis hemp. It has since been replaced by non-edible, non-fibrous, soil-depleting tobacco, which is grown in soil fertilized with radioactive materials.
U.S. government studies have show that a pack-and-a-half of tobacco cigarettes per day over a year for just one year is the equivalent to your lungs of what some 300 chest x-rays (using the old, pre-1980s slow x-ray film and without using any lead protection) are to your skin. But while an x-ray dissipates its radioactivity instantly, tobacco has a radioactive half-life that will remain active in the lungs for 21.5 years.
Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said on national television that radioactivity contained in tobacco leaves is probably responsible for most tobacco-related cancer. No radioactivity exists in cannabis tars.
(National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1964; American Lung Assn.; Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza, U. of Mass. Medical Center; Reader's Digest, March 1986; Surg. Gen. C. Everett Koop, 1990.)
Some Studies the Feds Don't Talk About
The Coptic Study (1981)
No Harm to Human Brain or Intelligence
Hemp has been used in virtually all societies since time immemorial as a work motivator and to highlight and renew creative energies.
(Jamaican Studies; Coptic Studies; Costa Rican Studies; Vedas; Dr. Vera Rubin, Research Institute for the Study of Man; et al)
In 1981, a study showed that 10 of American's heaviest pot smokers (from the Coptic religion and residing in Florida) actually believed that using 16 huge high potency spliffs* a day had improved their minds somewhat over a period of 10 years.
They were studied by Drs. Ungerlieder and Shaeffer (UCLA) and who showed absolutely no brain differences between them and non-smokers nor did it confirm any increase in IQ that the Coptics had claimed.
* One spliff is generally equal to five average American joints.
Longer Life, Fewer Wrinkles
Most studies (matched populations, past and present) indicate that everything else being equal an average American pot smoker will live longer than his counterpart who does no drugs at all; with fewer wrinkles, and generally less stress thereby having fewer illnesses to upset the immune system, and being a more peaceful neighbor.
(Costa Rican and Jamaican Studies)
Definite Benefits for Marijuana Smokers
The most exhaustive study of hemp smoking in its natural setting is probably Ganja in Jamaica A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use by Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas (1975; Mouton & Co., The Hague, Paris/Anchor Books, NY).
The Jamaican study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse, was the first project in medical anthropology to be undertaken and is the first intensive, multi-disciplinary study of marijuana use and users to be published.
From the Jamaican Study introduction: "Despite its illegality, ganja use is pervasive, and duration and frequency are very high; it is smoked over a longer period in heavier quantities with greater THC potency than in the U.S. without deleterious social or psychological consequences. The major difference is that both use and expected behaviours are culturally conditioned and controlled by well established tradition." "No impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual-motor performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability, and cognitive style and test of memory."
Positive Social Attitudes
The study outlines the positive reinforcement given socially to ganja smokers in Jamaica, the universal praise for the practice among users, who smoke it as a work motivator.
Subjects described the effects of smoking making them "brainier", lively, merry, more responsible and conscious. They reported it was good for meditation and concentration, and created a general sense of well-being and self-assertiveness.
No Link to Criminal Behavior
Vera Rubin and her colleagues found no relation of cannabis to crime (except marijuana busts), no impairment of motor skills, and smokers and non-smokers alike had identical extroversion scores with no difference in work records or adjustment. Heavy use of ganja was not found to curtail the motivation to work.
From the psychological assessment the smokers seemed to be more open in their expressions of feeling, somewhat more carefree, and somewhat more distractible. There was no evidence of organic brain damage or schizophrenia.
No Physiological Deterioration
Marilyn Bowman, in a battery of psychological tests on chronic cannabis users in Jamaica in 1972, found "no impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual-motor performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability and cognitive style and tests of memory." These Jamaicans had smoked anywhere from six to 31 years (16.6 mean average) and the average age at the first puff was at 12 years and six months.
In the 1975 study between users and non-users, no difference was found in plasma testosterone, no difference in total nutrition, slightly higher performance on the intelligence sub-tests (not statistically significant), and "a basic measure of cell-mediated immunity was no less vigorous in the users."
Finally, "Users in our matched pair sample smoked marijuana in addition to as many tobacco cigarettes as did their partners. Yet their airways were, if anything, a bit healthier than their matches."
"We must tentatively conclude either that marijuana has no harmful effects on such passages or that it actually offers some slight protection against the harmful effects of tobacco smoke. Only further research will clarify which, if either, is the case."
No "Stepping Stone"/Gateway Effect
As to the stepping-stone or gateway drug charges leveled against cannabis: "The use of hard drugs is as yet virtually unknown among working class Jamaicans no one in the study (Rubin's) had ever taken any narcotics, stimulants, hallucinogens, barbiturates or sleeping pills."
In America during the late 1800s cannabis was used in treating addiction. Opiate, chloral hydrate, and alcohol addicts were successfully treated with potent cannabis extracts. Some patients recovered with less than a dozen doses of cannabis extract.1 Likewise, smoking cannabis has been found to be valuable in modern alcohol addiction treatment.2
Costa Rican Study (1980)
The Jamaican results were largely confirmed by another Caribbean study, the 1980 Cannabis in Costa Rica - A Study in Chronic Marijuana Use edited by William Carter for the Institute for Study of Human Issues. (ISHI, 3401 Science Center, Philadelphia.)
Again researchers found no palpable damage to the native population's chronic cannabis smokers. Alcoholic social problems, so evident on neighboring cannabis-free islands, are not found in Costa Rica.
This study makes clear that socially approved ganja use will largely replace or mitigate the use of alcohol (rum) if available.
The Amsterdam Model
Since adopting a policy of tolerance and non-prosecution of cannabis/hashish smokers (it is available in cafes and bars) and rehabilitation and diversion programs for hard drug users, Holland has seen a substantial reduction in cannabis consumption among teenagers and a 33% drop in the number of heroin addicts. The strategy of separating cannabis sales from hard drug dealers by bringing pot above-ground has been quite successful. (L.A. Times, August 1989). In 1998, despite constant pressure from the U.S. government and the DEA, the Dutch government has totally refused to recriminalize marijuana!
1. "Cannabis Indica as an Anodyne and Hypnotic," J.B. Mattison, M.D., The St. Louis Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol. LVI, No. 5, Nov. 1891, pg 265-271, reprinted in Marijuana: The Medical Papers, Tod Mikuriya, M.D.
2. "Cannabis Substitution: An Adjunctive Therapeutic Tool in the Treatment of Alcoholism," Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D., Medical Times, Vol. 98, No. 4, April, 1970, reprinted in Marijuana Medical Papers, Tod Mikuriya, M.D.)
More Prohibitionist Deceptions
Scientific American reported in 1990: "The alarming statistics, cited by testing advocates, to demonstrate the high costs of drug abuse . . . do not always accurately reflect the research on which they are based. In fact, some of the data could be used to 'prove' that drug use has negligible or even beneficial effects." (March 1990, page 18)
One of the examples given is the often cited statistic former president George Bush utilized in 1989: "Drug abuse among American workers costs businesses anywhere from $60 billion to $100 billion a year in lost productivity, absenteeism, drug-related accidents, medical claims and theft." Yet according to a 1989 assessment by NIDA, all such claims derive from a single study that grew out of a 1982 survey of 3,700 households.
The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) found that households where at least one person admitted having used marijuana regularly reported average incomes 28% lower than average reported income of otherwise similar households. RTI researchers ascribed the income difference to "loss due to marijuana use."
RTI then extrapolated costs of crime, health problems and accidents to arrive at a "cost to society of drug abuse" of $47 billion. The White House "adjusted" for inflation and population increases to provide the basis for Bush's statement.
Yet the RTI survey also included questions about current drug use. The answers revealed no significant difference between income levels of households with current users of illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin, and other households.
Thus the same statistics "prove" that current use of hard drugs does not result in any "loss," in contrast to a single marijuana binge in the distant past!
Official Corruption: Carlton Turner
In all the research this author has done about the misapplication of public funds and trusts, nothing, it seems, compares with the either totally ignorant or willful manslaughter of fellow Americans by the bureaucrats and politicians of the following story:
One Man & His Drug Scams
The U.S. government policy, starting in the Nixon and Ford administrations and continuing under Carlton Turner* (Drug Czar under Reagan 1981-1986), allowed federal medical marijuana, supplied to the individual state marijuana medical programs, to consist only of the leaf of the marijuana plant, even though it's usually only one-third as strong as the bud and doesn't contain the same whole spectrum of the "crude drug," i.e. the THC and CBNs.
* Prior to becoming Special White Hose Advisor (read: National Drug Czar) Carlton Turner, from 1971 to 1980, was the head of all U.S. government marijuana grown for drugs by reason of his position at the University of Mississippi. The U. of Mississippi Marijuana Research Program is directed by state charter to discover initiate or sort out the constituents of THC a "simple" crude cannabis drug that works as a medicine then synthesize the substances with beneficial medicinal properties to attain their full potential for pharmaceutical companies.
For example, the leaf's relief of ocular pressure for glaucoma patients is much shorter lasting and therefore unsatisfactory, compared to the bud. Also, the leaf sometimes gives smokers a headache. The federal government until 1986 used only the leaf. Turner said to the pharmaceutical companies in an interview, that leaf is all Americans would ever get although the bud works better. Still today in 1999, the seven legal marijuana users in the U.S. only get leaf, branch, and bud chopped up and rolled together. Although buds work better for chemotherapy, glaucoma, etc., the branches can be as toxic as smoking wood.
Turner said, in 1986, that natural marijuana will "never" be given as a medicine and, as of April 1998, it still hasn't. (Except in California, where citizens successfully voted, in November 1996, to overrule the federal government on medical marijuana!)
The Reasons Given:
- Buds are too hard to roll through a cigarette machine. (Forget the 25 million Americans who do quite well at rolling bud everyday.)
- By extracting compounds from the "crude drug" of the bud, there would be no pharmaceutical patents, therefore no profits. Therefore, his program would have worked against his former employers, the Mississippi University's legislative charter and funding.
(Interviews by Ed Rosenthal for High Times magazine; Dean Latimer, et al; NORML.)
Although buds work better for chemotherapy, glaucoma, etc., Turner said they will "never" be given. It also became evident the famous marijuana 'munchies' (appetite stimulation) were not working for the cancer chemotherapy patients using federal leaf.
And even though no studies have been allowed to compare leaf with bud, we know of doctors who unofficially recommended bud and watch their wasting cancer patients put on weight (NORML).
Poisoning Pot Smokers
In August and September, 1983, Turner went on national television to justify the illegal marijuana spraying (by plane) of paraquat in Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee by the DEA. He said it would teach a lesson to any kid who died from paraquat-poisoned pot. Turner was forced to resign after announcing his conclusions in public that marijuana caused homosexuality, the breakdown of the immune system, and, therefore, AIDS.
Looking into the therapeutic potential of cannabis is the most controlled and discouraged research, but any tests pursuing negative or harmful effects of cannabis are promoted. Since these tests often backfire or are inconclusive, even this research is rare.
Turner quoted "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" to show how jazz (rock) singers are eroding the America "he" loves with this hallucinogenic drug marijuana! Which he meant to stamp out.
Phony Paraquat Kits
During the 1978 Mexican marijuana paraquat scare, and while still a private citizen working for the state of Mississippi marijuana farm, this same Carlton Turner called High Times magazine to advertise a paraquat tester. Unknown to Turner, High Times was not accepting ads for any paraquat testers because all evidence showed the testers didn't work.
Dean Latimer then a High Times associate editor, strung Turner along in virtually daily phone conversations for a month, listening to Turner talk about how much money Turner was going to make from sales of the device.
High Times wanted to see a sample. When Turner delivered his prototype version of the paraquat test kit to High Times, it was a total "Rube Goldberg" type rip-off, "just like the dozen or so phony kits other companies tried to buy ad space for at this time," wrote Latimer in an article published in 1984.
Turner apparently never thought High Times was ethical enough to check the contraption out. He assumed they would just take the ad money and run print the ad and make Turner rich.
He didn't care if some kid died or was bilked out of money believing in his bogus paraquat test kit.
After this attempted mail fraud, this man became President Reagan's national drug czar in 1981, recommended by George Bush and Nancy Reagan.
A Wanton Disregard for Life
Turner even said that he doesn't even care if hundreds of kids die from smoking pot the federal government has deliberately sprayed with paraquat.
Then at the April 25, 1985, PRIDE conference in Atlanta, Georgia, with Nancy Reagan and 16 foreign First Ladies in attendance (including Imelda Marcos), Turner called for the death penalty for drug dealers.
Turner was, after all, Reagan's, Bush's, and the pharmaceutical companies' own hired gun, who saw his entire mission as not against heroin, PCP, or cocaine, but to wipe out pot and jazz/rock music.
Carlton Turner was forced to resign after Newsweek magazine excoriated him October 27, 1986, in a large editorial sidebar. His resignation was a foregone conclusion after being lampooned in the Washington Post and elsewhere as no other public figure in recent memory for his conclusions (in public addresses) that marijuana smoking caused homosexuality, the breakdown of the immune system, and, therefore, AIDS.
He resigned December 16, 1986. What should have been front page headline news was buried in the back pages during the Iran-contra scandal that exploded that week.
Urine Testing Company
After his resignation, Turner joined with Robert DuPont and former head of NIDA, Peter Bensinger, to corner the market on urine testing. They contracted as advisors to 250 of the largest corporations to develop drug diversion, detection, and urine testing programs.
Soon after Turner left office, Nancy Reagan recommended that no corporation be permitted to do business with the Federal government without having a urine purity policy in place to show their loyalty.
Just as G. Gordon Liddy went into high-tech corporate security after his disgrace, Carlton Turner became a rich man in what has now become a huge growth industry: urine-testing.
This kind of business denies the basic rights of privacy, self-incrimination (Fifth Amendment) rights, unreasonable search and seizure, and the presumption of innocence (until proven guilty).
Submission to the humiliation of having your most private body parts and functions observed by a hired voyeur is now the test of eligibility for private employment, or to contract for a living wage.
Turner's new money-making scheme demands that all other Americans relinquish their fundamental right to privacy and self-respect.
Bush Strikes Again
President Ronald Reagan, at the urging of then Vice President George Bush, appointed Carlton Turner as the White House Drug (czar) Advisor in 1981.
At conventions (1981-1986) of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyist the American Chemical Manufacturers, Turner promised to continue the research ban on the 400 chemical compounds of cannabis.
Bush managed to continue to direct this effort, simply by not allowing any grants for private or public research with a positive implication to be issued by NIDA or NIH, or approved any recent FDA applications unless they pursued negative results. As of this writing (July 1998) President Clinton's policy has remained the same.
Comparison to Alcohol
There are many terrible drug habits. The worst of which is alcohol, in both numbers of users and the anti-social behavior associated with extreme use. Alcoholism is the leading cause of teen-age deaths: 8,000 American teenagers are killed each year and 40,000 are maimed from mixing alcohol and driving. (MADD, Mothers against Drunk Driving; SADD, Students against Drunk Driving; NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse, etc.)
In fact, U.S. government/police statistics confirm the following strange numbers:
The mortality figure for alcohol use is 100,000 annually, compared with zero marijuana deaths in 10,000 years of consumption.
From 40-50% of all murders and highway fatalities are alcohol related. In fact, highway fatalities that are alcohol related might be as high as 90%, according to the Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times.
Alcohol is also indicated in the majority (69-80%) of all child rape/incest cases; wife beating incidents are in great majority (60-80%) alcohol influenced.
Heroin is indicated in 35% of burglaries, robberies, armed robberies, bank robberies, grand theft auto, etc.
And there were more than 786,545 arrests for simple marijuana possession in the U.S. in 2005 (up from 400,000 in 1992), according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation.