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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Federal Government Sponsors Drug "Research"

I love science, I am a fan of it; good science that is.

The Federal Government is funding research into the relation between smoking marijuana and mental illness.

"Science has shown that cannabis may actually trigger the onset of psychosis and may also intensify the symptoms for those who already have a psychotic illness," (Winnipeg Conservative MP Joy) Smith (Kildonan-St. Paul) said in announcing a grant of more than $550,000 to the Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

The grant of $559,370 is the largest Health Canada has ever provided to the society, he said.

The money is part of Ottawa's $30-million national anti-drug strategy, announced in 2007.

So the Federal Government, which is court ordered to produce medical marijuana in Canada, which has announced a stronger anti-drug strategy in recent years, is funding research into marijuana and it's negative effects, with funds from the national anti-drug strategy...

Do you think the study will be bias at all?

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I welcome feedback and I ask for civility in the exchange of comments. Vulgarity is discouraged. Please express yourself creatively with other language. We discuss ideas here, attacks on a person are discouraged.

Posted by Freedom Manitoba on August 19, 2009 in Marijuana reform | Permalink

Comments

Here's another Canadian Government funded study.
What if Zombies attacked Canada, would we survive?
This is just too fuc*in funny.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8206280.stm

And yes of course the study will be biased.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-08-19 12:35:08 PM


"What if Zombies attacked Canada, would we survive?"

Money well spent.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-19 12:51:01 PM


(1) The study is being carried out by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. Presumably, they do not have an interest in either overstating or understating the link between cannabis use and psychosis, since doing either will hurt them in their efforts to help people with schizophrenia. So I think the results of their work is not likely to be biased. I think they were funded in the first place because the expected results are in line with government anti-drug efforts, not because they are likely to fudge the research.

(2) The criticism of the zombie research reminds me of school kids who, when asked to solve for X in an algebra problem reply "who cares what X equals?" The reply misses the point of the question. In the Zombie study the point was to see to what extent mathematical modelling could be used to solve the particular question. The article points out that such modelling could be helpful for understanding the nature of the spread of real diseases and how to most effectively respond to them. It is easy to sit back and ridicule a study you really know nothing about. What is harder is to actually have an open mind when asking what value a study might have.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-08-19 1:31:38 PM


"The study is being carried out by the Schizophrenia Society of Canada."

Yes, paid for by the Feds. The Feds have an agenda, that clouds the results of the study. Controlling for bias is a major part of good science, hopefully they SSC can do it even knowing where the cash is coming from.


"What is harder is to actually have an open mind when asking what value a study might have."

Not all studies have value.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-19 1:41:33 PM


Like I said before. When you hand someone a pile of cash and expect certain results. Most likely those will be the results you get. If that person or group wants to recieve more money, they will tell you what you want to hear.

"The grant of $559,370 is the largest Health Canada has ever provided to the society, he said."

All this for the most studied plant in history. Think they want more? You bet they do. So I will be surprised if they come back and say "no, marijuana doesn't cause this problem or intensify it in people that have this issue already." If they came back with that. No more money for them.
They will tweak the numbers or give us half facts or outright lies. All I have to say about this is, show me the victims.

Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2009-08-19 2:26:47 PM


"Do you think the study will be bias at all?"

Given that the Schizophrenia Society's primary political aim is to secure more funding for schizophrenia research, and that legalized marijuana would not seem to jeopardize that research, it seems odd that they would choose this topic for political reasons, even if the government has.

Moreover, there are a number of stories in today's Vancouver Province concerning studies ostensibly not funded by the Harper Conservatives that cast some doubt on whether marijuana is really a harmless herb and useful medicine that got a bad rap at all. This is not to insinuate that it has no medically useful properties, but rather whether those properties are worth the considerable side effects.

Hallucinations, paranoia, possible temporary or (rarely) permanent psychosis, potential for cancer on a level with tobacco, insufferable stink, et al would not be tolerated in any of the "Big Pharma" pills medical marijuana advocates love to bash. So why are they okay when found in marijauna?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-19 2:49:33 PM


Wow, Shane. I'm impressed. And I'm not being facetious when I say--that while I disagree with you on the effects of marijuana--that is one of the most reasonable set of paragraphs I've seen you write on the subject.

And your comparison of some of the negative effects of marijuana to the standards imposed on drug companies, is actually a really good one. One that I think many libertarians would get behind--and agree with the hypocrisy. Even though, they'd go in a different direction than you :)

Posted by: Mike Brock | 2009-08-19 2:55:09 PM


Shane your side effects are wrong.

"Hallucinations, paranoia, possible temporary or (rarely) permanent psychosis, potential for cancer on a level with tobacco, insufferable stink,"

Psychosis is HIGHLY debated still, hence the half million dollar study.
Cancer on par with tobacco. Impossible, there are no cases of cannabis only smokers getting lung cancer. Some study's have noted a protective effect from cannabis smoking. Most notably demonstrated on head, neck, and throat cancers which shows a significant reduction in rates among cannabis smokers vs non smoking.

"insufferable stink"
According to YOU.

Just had to fix up the miss information.

Otherwise as far as the study goes, its all in the details, until they are released we wont know. Hopefully they actually test with cannabis, i saw one recently that injected pure synthesized thc and called the effects of this high "psychosis" lol. Hardly psychosis, and hardly comparable to what people actually do.

Posted by: Baker | 2009-08-19 4:45:07 PM


Scott,

"...paid for by the Feds."

True.

"The Feds have an agenda..."

True.

"...that clouds the results of the study."

False. The results are only clouded if there is reason to think that the Schizophrenia Society of Canada would rather give the feds results they want than accurate ones. If the work were being done by some random scientists for hire, then they would be worthy of more suspicion, but the Schizophrenia Society of Canada has an agenda, too. Their agenda is helping people with schizophrenia and I bet they care a lot more about that than using that organization to serve as stealth foot soldiers in the government's war on drugs. Like I said before, the expectation that the truth will help promote the government's agenda is sufficient to explain their funding.


"Not all studies have value."

True, but a non sequitur that has nothing to do with whether the zombie study is of value. You dismissed it without knowing anything about it. That's not something a real fan of science does.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-08-19 5:32:34 PM


'False. The results are only clouded if there is reason to think that the Schizophrenia Society of Canada would rather give the feds results they want than accurate ones."-Fact Check

They will probably think that if they want to recieve more funding to help ppl with schizophrenia, they had better give the HarperCons the results they want.

This study will have no credibility, and will be as ridiculed as the studies funded by NIDA.

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-08-19 7:13:00 PM


The intention in most prohabitionist minds is to give pot a fair trial and then hang it.

An open minded, scientific study would seek to find out what pot did to people with psychotic illnesses, good or bad. If they are only tasked with looking for problems, what the hell do we think they will find.

If the study showed cannabis helping people with psychotic illnesses it would create an embarrassing problem for the prohibitionists.

Not that embarrassment, a bucket of cold water or a glimpse of their own lunacy would deter them in the slightest.

Posted by: Lee | 2009-08-19 10:20:12 PM


People who are of weak mind should not use cannabis. I can see how its effects could be negative for people with certain mental illness, or a predisposition to certain types of mental illness. I can also see how alcohol would not be a good thing for people with certain mental illness's. Violent movies, some rap and metal music, ALL country music, even some books could cause problems for people who are mentally ill. Just because THOSE PEOPLE should not use or view these things doesn't mean we should ban EVERYONE from using them. Just because some people are fat slobs who shouldn't eat anymore donuts doesn't mean that those of us with some degree of self restraint shouldn't be allowed to pick up a dozen apple fritters at Timmies.

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-08-19 11:00:34 PM


@Fact Check | 2009-08-19 1:31:38 PM

I would agree with your assessment that the research should be done in a non biased manner but the Conservative govt's prime motivation is to find some negative studies about cannabis to justify their prohibition. They are preserving markets for pharmaceutical companies. There are many studies coming out almost daily purporting the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Now more than ever. Watch the documentary "Run from the Cure" the Rick Simpson story. He has been curing people of cancer and other illnesses using cannabis oil and the Canadian govt' are quashing the clear evidence that this works prosecuting Rick and ignoring the hundreds of people he has cured and disallowing doctors' testimony at trials. Write your MP! This is the same government that STOPPED cannabis research funding in Alberta not long ago but that research was geared toward helping the sick not demonizing cannabis.They are ideologues. Cannabis was the most widely utilized medicine in the world before prohibition.

Posted by: Tony_42 | 2009-08-19 11:32:00 PM


And who says that if cannabis were found to have some benefits that the report will ever see the light of day?
If our government is anything like the UN they will simply alter the report enough to suit their goals. That's what the UN did with the report on Global Warming.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-08-20 5:35:02 AM


Does anyone else find it ironic that the government forcibly confiscated our property from us (income), to fund studies to bolster its case that it is indeed legitimate that they curtail our natural right to control our own bodies?

Posted by: Charles | 2009-08-20 6:20:15 AM


There are already a number of studies out there which convincingly show that cannabis exacerbates a pre-existing condition of schizophrenia; others show that cannabis-using schizophrenics have greater relapse rates (end up in the hospital for psychosis) more often than non-using schizophrenics; and cannabis does cause psychosis, though temporarily - it's called cannabis-induced psychosis.

This makes me question how unbiased the Schizophrenia Society of Canada will be in designing and reporting the results of this study, since they do have an interest in keeping schizophrenics off of cannabis, let alone the possibility of receiving less government funding for additional research.

The concerns I have with any studies involving the link between schizophrenia and cannabis are as follows: 1) the number of causes of schizophrenia are increasing very rapidly, from hundreds of genes to pregnant mothers being exposed to cat feces and other environmental factors, how will the study differentiate confounding influences? 2) What population will they be studying (i.e. will it include people with risk factors for schizophrenia, but no diagnosis and people with no risk factors, or will they only look at people already diagnosed with schizophrenia? If using only people with schizophrenia currently, how will show that their results prove causality and not any already known proclivity for schizophrenics to abuse substances (considering that marijuana is the most abused illicit drug)?

I think that, with the current state of knowledge of the causes of schizophrenia, I will only be convinced by a long-term study comparing the incidence of cannabis use in the general population and the incidence of schizophrenia in the general population; or they finally narrow down the causes of schizophrenia to a managable number so that they can make a study of at-risk patients who use compared to at-risk patients who do not use.

Posted by: gurureoul | 2009-08-20 7:33:29 AM


The 1995 Cocaine Project, a joint effort of the World Health Organization and the UN's Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute was NEVER released till recently.

Why??

The report condemned the 'over-reliance on law enforcement measures' and recommended that 'education, treatment and rehabilitation' programs be increased to re-balance our approach to problematic drug use.

The report noted that 'health problems from the use of legal substances, particularly alcohol and tobacco, are greater than health problems from cocaine use'.

The report also stated that the 'use of coca leaves... has positive therapeutic, sacred and social functions for indigenous Andean populations- a reference to South American aboriginals who have used coca leaves for thousands of years.

However politically incorrect these conclusions are, they are factually correct or incorrect. If they're incorrect, they ought to be countered vigorously; if correct, they ought to inform our drug policy.

Instead, the WHO buried the report, largely as a result of pressure from the USA.

It's interesting to note that in 2008, the WHO reported that the USA has the highest rate of cocaine use in the world. Interesting, but not surprising, for no drug control approach can be 'proven' if it is the result of intentionally ignoring the evidence.


'The continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians MUCH MORE than the substance itself'.

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-08-20 9:04:59 AM


i find it compelling that a party that prides itself on fiscal responsibility would increase funding to something we know is a failure (marijuana prohibition), but would cut $4 million in funding that is already a proven success (medical marijuana research).

Clearly there is a bias against pot in this "science", and comments of the prohibs on this forum demonstrate that.....

Posted by: Russell Barth | 2009-08-20 9:06:33 AM


If we accept that the government can tell us what we can do with our own bodies then we must accept their ownership. That means the government owns us all – like pets, cattle, or slaves – and that we have only the rights that they grant. Anyone willing to accept that deserves no rights.

Posted by: Russell Barth | 2009-08-20 9:07:36 AM


Russell

Canadians unknowingly started down that path in 1967. Socialized health care is public ownership of your body. Everything else is just infant-citizens playing in the sand box. What "defines Canada as a nation" also enslaves it's people.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-08-20 9:43:18 AM


You dismissed it without knowing anything about it. That's not something a real fan of science does.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-08-19 5:32:34 PM

I wasn't speaking specifically about the zombie study, I was making more of a general statement.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 9:44:22 AM


'The continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians MUCH MORE than the substance itself'.

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-08-20 9:04:59 AM

I would agree. and that would go for nearly any other plant or prohibited substance.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 9:48:02 AM


A good number of these prominent societies and associations are totally self-serving organizations. Their goal is to maximize donations, either private, or grants. I doubt they have the real resources needed to conduct proper research. They'll spread the money around, to as many directors as possible, then come up with a report that makes the major contributor happy.

Posted by: dp | 2009-08-20 9:48:35 AM


Anyone willing to accept that deserves no rights.
Posted by: Russell Barth | 2009-08-20 9:07:36 AM

Russell, that is exactly right. Add to that the prohibition comes with another level of people control that the state will never abdicate. (Incarceration) Its all about control and all the studies in the world aren't going to change the underlying motive.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-08-20 9:48:40 AM


I doubt they have the real resources needed to conduct proper research.
Posted by: dp | 2009-08-20 9:48:35 AM

I would be interested to know how the $ is going to be spent. They likely sub-contract to a research firm of some sort since I doubt they have scientists on staff.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 10:13:12 AM


Why are so afraid of a study potentially linking cannabis to something bad?

We know the frequent negative social and attitudinal/aspirational impact of cannabis use. Now perhaps it can be linked to psychosis. Wouldn't it be good to get another objective reason to make kids stop using cannabis?

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2009-08-20 10:35:20 AM


Actually, Baker, there has been a series of recent studies that make the connection between marijuana use and an increased incidence of schizophrenia. Granted, correlation does not equal causation (we can call this "Gateway Effect 2.0"), but marijuana seems to be correlated with quite a few undesirable things that have nothing to do with its illegal status.

Furthermore, schizophrenia is not the only type of psychosis associated with marijuana. Extreme paranoia and even psychotic breaks are not uncommon, although these, unlike schizophrenia, are only temporary. It also frequently causes hallucinations. And a distorted or disconnected sense of objective reality is the definition of psychosis. As I said, temporary. But not something you generally want in a medical preparation.

Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that while THC itself does not cause cancer, many of the chemicals in marijuana will—even the best pot is less than one-third THC, after all. Marijuana has far more tar than tobacco, and is typically smoked unfiltered. People often argue that pot can't be as bad for you because it's "natural," a plant product, but then again, what do you call tobacco? And people who smoke only cannabis and not also tobacco are actually fairly rare, so the comparison isn't as simple as you'd think.

As for the smell of pot, it's most often compared with dead skunk. So while a few people with fried olfactories might not mind it, the consensus seems to be that it is a rank and unwelcome scent. In fact it's so unpopular that Pot County (also known as Mendocino County), California, has had to crack down on grow ops because whole neighbourhoods have literally gone to pot. To argue that appreciating the smell is simply a matter of acquiring a test is thus disingenuous.

And yes, they inject the THC into the laboratory subjects, because the subjects are rats who would rather eat a doobie than smoke it, and it would be unethical to use human subjects if one believes mental illness might result. Apparently one recent study in the UK involving humans was halted for that very reason.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 10:43:46 AM


Wouldn't it be good to get another objective reason to make kids stop using cannabis?

Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2009-08-20 10:35:20 AM


It doesn't bother me if people smoke dope. And if it did, I wouldn’t “make” them stop, I would try to persuade them.

My concern is the inherit bias of a study commissioned by the current government given their anti-drug stance. Good science tries to remove as many biases as possible though large, randomized, double blinded, placebo controlled studies. If this study can achieve that, then its results can be accepted. If not, then the results need to be looked at with suspicion.

No one study is conclusive. If the results can be duplicated by other folks then it has more merit.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 11:10:14 AM


"It also frequently causes hallucinations"

Hallucinations when using marijunana is neither frequent nor common.

Besides, so what? Fasting and sleep deprivation for a few days will aslo cause you to hallicinate.

Altering one's mind is their business, it's their mind.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 11:14:17 AM


"As for the smell of pot, it's most often compared with dead skunk."

It smells very similar to sweet grass that aboriginals use in ceremonies.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 11:15:24 AM


Well Shane there are also study's that show that it does not have a link to increased incidence of schizophrenia, so that's a moot point. And i don't believe you could call it "gateway 2.0" since to create a second version of something the first usually has to work, unfortunately the gateway/steppingstone theory didn't cut the mustard in the first place.

"Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that while THC itself does not cause cancer, many of the chemicals in marijuana will—even the best pot is less than one-third THC, after all. Marijuana has far more tar than tobacco, and is typically smoked unfiltered."

The study's show it reduces cancer and is able to shrink the sizes of tumors, also it has been theorized this same effect on established tumors could help prevent cancers from taking hold in the first place. Furthermore how do you know what concentration of THC is needed for this effect to take place? Sure cannabis smoke may have more tar but tar does not correlate to cancer my friend.

"It was found in 2007 that while tobacco and cannabis smoke are quite similar, cannabis smoke contained higher amounts of ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrogen oxides, but lower levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_cannabis#Toxicity

Note that ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrogen oxides are not carcinogens.

Furthermore it has yet to be linked to causing cancers despite over 40 years of prevalent use.

"As for the smell of pot, it's most often compared with dead skunk. So while a few people with fried olfactories might not mind it, the consensus seems to be that it is a rank and unwelcome scent."

Then don't go smelling it lol! I don't like the smell of other peoples farts, so i don't go smelling their buts. And its compared to a live skunks defensive spray. And not all cannabis smells like skunk, There are a multitude of strains ranging from Pine-citrus-berry. Some smelling more of berries then the actual berry itself.

"In fact it's so unpopular that Pot County (also known as Mendocino County), California, has had to crack down on grow ops because whole neighborhoods have literally gone to pot."

I agree that can happen, not everyone likes every smell. All the more reason to legalize, turn them into business and set how where they are able to operate so they don't offend the sensitive nose's of others. Like ethanol plants.

"To argue that appreciating the smell is simply a matter of acquiring a test is thus disingenuous."

No its not. Do you not believe spirits to be an acquired taste, beer..? Its just a sense is it not? How can it not be an acquired taste?

"And yes, they inject the THC into the laboratory subjects, because the subjects are rats who would rather eat a doobie than smoke it, and it would be unethical to use human subjects if one believes mental illness might result."

No, in this study they injected humans, was completed, and made a final assessment that Cannabis use can cause psychosis in even healthy individuals. Perhaps this was the one that got in trouble, it was from the UK, but I'm not sure, perhaps you could confirm. But my point is that most of the time they don't actually test cannabis, rather just isolated parts of it that by no means represent the effect of using the real thing.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/5919207/Cannabis-can-cause-psychosis-in-healthy-people.html

To lazy to find the OG study but this contains enough information about it.

Posted by: Baker | 2009-08-20 11:28:26 AM


I guess we should test the effects of beer drinking by injecting pure moonshine into people's jugular vein too then eh mathews? If any negative consequences occur that will justify re-prohibiting alcohol possession and consumption?

Posted by: DrGreenthumb | 2009-08-20 11:45:20 AM


lol if they injected alcohol they could easily come to the exact same concision.. except with one added observation, death.

Posted by: Baker | 2009-08-20 11:48:57 AM


I am 66 years old and the only medicine I take for joint pain, occasional insomnia, headache, general boredom, and so on ... is pot.

The main stream drug peddlers hate guys like me.

Any study funded by government will reflect the results that the funding government wishes it to. Anyone who doesn't know that, needs to twist one out and do some rethinking.

Posted by: Momar | 2009-08-20 12:03:10 PM


Any study funded by government will reflect the results that the funding government wishes it to. Anyone who doesn't know that, needs to twist one out and do some rethinking.

Posted by: Momar | 2009-08-20 12:03:10 PM

I wouldn't say that outright, it depends on the quality of the study.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 12:47:39 PM


"This study will have no credibility, and will be as ridiculed as the studies funded by NIDA."

Only by those who have already decided they will do drugs no matter the cost, Greenthumb. No amount of evidence is likely to deter them, so that's an unreasonable standard.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:10:20 PM


"If the study showed cannabis helping people with psychotic illnesses it would create an embarrassing problem for the prohibitionists."

True, but I don't think they have much to worry about in that regard. Recent reports suggest that it's the legalizers who need to worry.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:12:29 PM


"i find it compelling that a party that prides itself on fiscal responsibility would increase funding to something we know is a failure (marijuana prohibition), but would cut $4 million in funding that is already a proven success (medical marijuana research)."

Actually, a recent study suggests that marijuana may actually increase the perception of non-neuropathic pain. Diseases of the nerves, such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, do show some positive effect, but conditions like cancer and arthritis and the like, where the nervous system is functioning properly the the cause of the pain is something else, may actually contraindicate pot. In any case, it's far from the universal panacea its admirers like to think.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:15:29 PM


And yes, they inject the THC into the laboratory subjects, because the subjects are rats who would rather eat a doobie than smoke it, and it would be unethical to use human subjects if one believes mental illness might result.

And just how can a rat be deduced to have schizophrenia or any other abnormal psychology comparable to human psychologic states?

It can't.

Posted by: Speller | 2009-08-20 2:22:35 PM


"I guess we should test the effects of beer drinking by injecting pure moonshine into people's jugular vein too then eh mathews?"

Actually that would work, if the total alcohol volume in the injected moonshine were equal to that in the quantity of beer being studied. Intravenous injection of alcohol has been observed among some drug addicts. The buzz hits you instantly, much faster than if you drink it, but the amount of time required to sober up is the same. The only side effect they describe is a burning pain at the site of the injection.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:26:52 PM


"Does anyone else find it ironic that the government forcibly confiscated our property from us (income), to fund studies to bolster its case that it is indeed legitimate that they curtail our natural right to control our own bodies?"

No.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:27:37 PM


"The report condemned the 'over-reliance on law enforcement measures' and recommended that 'education, treatment and rehabilitation' programs be increased to re-balance our approach to problematic drug use."

Quite correct; law enforcement by itself isn't going to make a drug addict seek out detox. Detox should be available and aggressively pushed. That said, that's not a case for decriminalization; just an admission that LE by itself won't work as well as LE and detox.

"The report noted that 'health problems from the use of legal substances, particularly alcohol and tobacco, are greater than health problems from cocaine use'."

Is that because legal products are used by more people? A more fulsome approach would be to study the likelihood of each substance on producing significant harm in a typical individual.

"The report also stated that the 'use of coca leaves... has positive therapeutic, sacred and social functions for indigenous Andean populations- a reference to South American aboriginals who have used coca leaves for thousands of years."

Crack addicts are not chewing coca leaves; they're snorting and mainlining a hyper-refined extract of them. The traditions of a hunter-gatherer people in a remote corner of the world aren't really relevant to our own social issues. Some of their traditions would probably turn your knees to jelly.

"...the WHO buried the report, largely as a result of pressure from the USA."

That's a common accusation of those who oppose drug restrictions. America is the root of the entire drug-control craze, they say, even though England outlawed marijuana ten years earlier. However, closer examination often does not bear out these claims. Do you have a reference for this assertion?

"'The continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians MUCH MORE than the substance itself'."

The WHO report didn't say that, did it? Where then did you read it? More to the point, can you prove it?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:36:29 PM


"Well Shane there are also study's that show that it does not have a link to increased incidence of schizophrenia, so that's a moot point."

There are studies that cast in doubt the theory of evolution, too. The existence of contradictory studies does not necessarily debunk a broadly established hypothesis. That's like saying that there's no point in wearing a seat belt by dint of the fact that it won't save your life in every conceivable type of crash.

"And i don't believe you could call it "gateway 2.0" since to create a second version of something the first usually has to work, unfortunately the gateway/steppingstone theory didn't cut the mustard in the first place."

You really need to work on recognizing irony, Baker. I thought they made you take all those English courses.

"The study's show it reduces cancer and is able to shrink the sizes of tumors, also it has been theorized this same effect on established tumors could help prevent cancers from taking hold in the first place."

The studies show that THC may shrink tumours, not that the tar and other ingredients in the complete joint may not cause them. Furthermore, upwards of 40% of cancer patients in the US are already on alternative treatments including marijuana, and we're not seeing any disappearing tumours as a result.

Note that ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrogen oxides are not carcinogens.

Hydrogen cyanide is the active ingredient in Zyklon-B. And are those the only three ingredients in marijuana smoke, besides THC?

"Sure cannabis smoke may have more tar but tar does not correlate to cancer my friend."

The Surgeon-General disagrees.

"Then don't go smelling it lol!"

You expect to be taken seriously when you put out adolescent horseshit like this?

"I don't like the smell of other peoples farts, so i don't go smelling their buts."

Farts don't generally creep up four floors or halfway down the block. And if if you don't smell "buts," what about "ands" or "ifs"?

"And its compared to a live skunks defensive spray."

Run over a skunk and kill it and you will get the whole juicy wad. Coquitlam is overrun with skunks and the stink is a regular occurrence.

"And not all cannabis smells like skunk, There are a multitude of strains ranging from Pine-citrus-berry. Some smelling more of berries then the actual berry itself."

Why don't more people smoke that stuff, then, and reduce the risk of being caught?

"I agree that can happen, not everyone likes every smell. All the more reason to legalize, turn them into business and set how where they are able to operate so they don't offend the sensitive nose's of others. Like ethanol plants."

Chemical factories are not generally located in residential zones. And I have yet to hear a single person, including you, say they actually like the smell of pot.

"No its not. Do you not believe spirits to be an acquired taste, beer..? Its just a sense is it not? How can it not be an acquired taste?"

If you need convincing, try this. Buy a jug of ammonia and pour some in a bowl. Insert your nostrils and inhale deeply. Don't worry; it's just an acquired taste.

The fact that tastes for some things can be acquired does not mean they can be acquired for all.

"No, in this study they injected humans, was completed, and made a final assessment that Cannabis use can cause psychosis in even healthy individuals. Perhaps this was the one that got in trouble, it was from the UK, but I'm not sure, perhaps you could confirm. But my point is that most of the time they don't actually test cannabis, rather just isolated parts of it that by no means represent the effect of using the real thing."

And yet just above, you pointed out that marijuana reduces the size of tumours when in fact the studies involved the use of only THC, and apparently you accept those findings. You can't have it both ways, Baker.

In any case, none of this is any reason to doubt the veracity of this particular study, which is being heavily criticized in spite of the fact that it hasn't begun yet. What angers people here is not the potential findings, which they would ignore or not as they saw fit, but the motive.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:57:45 PM


"Does anyone else find it ironic that the government forcibly confiscated our property from us (income), to fund studies to bolster its case that it is indeed legitimate that they curtail our natural right to control our own bodies?"

No.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-20 2:27:37 PM


Why would anyone here bother to argue with an avowed statist who feels all government made law and government extortion policies should be not only be adhered to but are moral even though they are implemented through force? Why? What's the point?

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-08-20 3:08:00 PM


"Do you have a reference for this assertion?"

Yes.

U.S. warns Canada against easing pot laws

“A top White House drug policy official is threatening retaliation from the U.S. if Canada relaxes its laws against marijuana possession.”

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-20 3:30:54 PM


World Health Organization global Cocaine Project Study suppressed by the United States for 13 years, 1995

In March 1995, the WHO and UNICRI announced the publication of the results of a global study on cocaine. Info. had been collected in 22 cities and 19 countries about the use of coca leaf and its derivatives, its effects on consumers and the community as a whole, and the answers of the gov'ts concerned to the cocaine problem. Perparations for the research began in 1991. Over more than 2 years, 3 sub-projects were developed which 'proposed to collect up-to-date info. about cocaine at regional and national levels.' The study was never published despite being 'the largest study ever on cocaine use.'

Reference to the study can be found in the UNICRI(U N Interregional Institute of Crime Investigaton) library, where it is still marked as 'RESTRICTED.'

The Director of the PSA, Hans Emblad, sent a copy of the Briefing Kit to the United Nations Drugs Control Programme (UNDCP), where it caused a sensation. 2 months later on May 9 '95 in Commission B of the forty-eight General Health Assembly, the destiny of these years of labour was determined by the INTERVENTION of the USA representative Mr. Boyer. He expressed his gov'ts concern with the results of the study: 'which seem to make a case for the positive use of cocaine, claiming that the use of the coca leaf did not lead to noticeable damage to mental or physical health, that the positive health effects of coca leaf chewing might be transferable from traditional settings to other countries and cultures and that coca production provides financial benefits to peasants.'

cont,...

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-08-20 3:43:39 PM



The USA Rep. said that his gov't considered suspending funds to WHO research if 'activities related to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches.' In reply, the rep. of Director General defended the study claiming it was 'an important and objective analyses done by the experts', which 'represented the views of the experts, and did not represent the stated policy position of the WHO, and WHO's continuing policy, which was to uphold the scheduling of the convention.' It was not the intention to publish the study in its current form, the rep explained as it might lead to 'misunderstanding.' The debate concluded with agreement on a peer review by 'genuine experts.'

'The USA Gov't considered that, if WHO activities relating to drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the relevant programmes should be curtailed. In view of the gravity of the matter, he asked the D-G for an assurance that WHO would disassociate itself from the conclusions of the study and that, in substance abuse activites, a approach would not be adopted that could be used to justify the continued production of coca.'

Peer review is a fundamental part of every scientific study, including those of the WHO. The timeline set for the peer review procedure was programmed in the terms of ref. as to be concluded by 30 Sept.'97. In fact, from March'95, names of potential researchers were listed and, in accordance with procedure, sent to the US National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) in charge of selecting the candidtaes. Over the course of almost 2 years, an intensive fax exchange took place whwerby the PSA proposed names and the NIDA
answered by refusing each and every one of them.

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-08-20 4:07:19 PM



There has been no formal end to this 'Cocaine Initiative.' The majority of the participanting scientists never heard what was done with their work.

With thanx to the Transnational Institute.

Posted by: jeff franklin | 2009-08-20 4:10:33 PM


And just how can a rat be deduced to have schizophrenia or any other abnormal psychology comparable to human psychologic states? It can't.

True. The observed schizophrenia was in human patients taking part in a marijuana study. The conclusion that the marijuana might be making their subjects mentally ill caused the researchers to stop the study immediately, as any ethical scientists would.

Injecting rats with THC was another study, testing specifically for cancer research.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-21 8:39:35 AM


“Do you have a reference for this assertion?” - Yes. “A top White House drug policy official is threatening retaliation from the U.S. if Canada relaxes its laws against marijuana possession.”

I was referring specifically to the WHO report.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-21 8:42:57 AM


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