MAKING THE CASE FOR LEGALIZATION: CLEAN LUNGS, CLEAN MONEY

by William Min, Columnist, (Source:Pipe Dream)

16 Oct 2007

New York
——-
You’re probably thinking this is another article on legalizing marijuana or a step-by-step guide of how to smoke weed while avoiding the police, but it’s not. No, I’m just here to correct some misconceptions of little Miss Mary Jane ( have your Urban Dictionary ready ).

Most people think marijuana is illegal because it is harmful for your health. Yes, our federal government cares for our well-being; that’s why we have free nationwide health care! Or at least they give us free medical advice. Laughter is the best medicine, right? I heard a dose of the chuckles will cure your herpes in a jiffy.

I’m sorry ( or pleased ) to inform you that scientists and doctors have found that there is no connection between marijuana and lung cancer. Donald Tashkin, a pulmonologist who studied marijuana for 30 years at UCLA, held the largest study on marijuana funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse ( funded in part by the Redundancy Coalition for Repetition ) in order to support a link between marijuana users and cancer development.

Tashkin asked 1,200 patients with head, neck or lung cancer about their lifetime use of marijuana, alcohol and tobacco, and then compared their answers to answers given by 1,040 people without cancer, matched up by age, sex and neighborhood. The heaviest potheads smoked more than 22,000 times ( sounds like a good weekend ) and moderate cannabis users were placed between 11,000 and 22,000 instances.

After his initial claim that marijuana caused lung cancer was proved wrong and that it may even help prevent cancer, we can officially declare Tashkin bitch-slapped by irony.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” Tashkin said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.” Marijuana contains THC, which has the power to make “Alice in Wonderland” the best movie ever made. It can also kill aging cells and prevent cancer cells from thriving and living ( kind of like the relationship between humiliation and reality TV stars ).

While no association between marijuana smoking and cancer was found, the study’s findings, presented to the American Thoracic Society International Conference ( who throw great parties ), did find a 20-fold increase in lung cancer among people who smoked two or more packs of cigarettes a day . which makes it ironic that a study on marijuana and cancer would prove that cigarettes are as dangerous as sitting in a dark room with OJ Simpson ( but somehow more legal ).

The real reason why marijuana is illegal is simple: it’s not profitable for Big Tobacco. Congress is made up of old, white, ghoulish-like creatures who get paid by lobbyists of wealthy corporations to keep their businesses alive.

And thus cigarettes are simply regulated instead of simply being illegal.

I’m really not trying to endorse marijuana ( its sponsors haven’t paid me yet ), but it’s important to hear both sides of the argument before making up your own opinion on the subject. The federal government is in control of its citizens – we should listen ( excluding President Bush’s speeches ). However, people in power aren’t necessarily always right. Just ask Saddam Hussein. What? He’s dead? Wow, I need to get out more.

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This article appeared in the NORML news feed.

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~ by Brad on October 18, 2007.

One Response to “MAKING THE CASE FOR LEGALIZATION: CLEAN LUNGS, CLEAN MONEY”

  1. Politicians are 10 years behind the times when it comes to hemp use. People have been fighting for a long time against marijuana and pot prohibition with some movement going on now. Still too slow for those caught up in the jail system for possessing a little weed. Our freedoms have been trampled on by folks who know nothing about how beautiful cannabis can be for someones life, if one learns how to grow cannabis. Keep up the good work.

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