Chapter 3 - (2nd Edition)



This statistical study conducted by a U.C.L.A. researcher was anything but censored, ---Instead it was Front Page News.   It seems that the D.E.A. couldn’t wait to tell the world that something negative dealing with Medical Cannabis had been found.   And the main stream news media took the bait, very fugitively swallowing it hook, line and sinker.   The following (from a major newspaper) was all too typical:
Researchers Link Marijuana to Cancer
By Susan Okie
Washington Post Staff Writer – Jan. 10, 2000; [A]

“Current and past smokers of marijuana are at increased risk of developing cancer of the head and neck, including tumors of the mouth, throat and larynx, a new study has found. . . . .

The study, the first to link marijuana with such cancers, suggests that the drug's popularity in recent decades could have serious long-term health consequences for some users. . . . . For the study, performed while (Dr.) Zhang was working at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, researchers enrolled 173 patients with head or neck cancer as well as a comparison group of 176 cancer-free blood donors of similar age and sex. . . . [more] “
Thus one would question why this study (so well known, published and talked about), would be included as part of this website dealing with governmental censorship?   The answer is that under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t have been --- were it not for the fact that all the follow up studies. ---The ones showing that Medical Cannabis users were LESS NOT MORE likely to develop head and neck cancers.   That these studies were, (ah, how shall we put it), almost totally ignored by the main stream news media.   Where were the front-page newspaper articles?   Why weren’t the radio news outlets talking about these new studies?

The answer is quite obvious, and thus the reason why this study is included.

This author remembers quite well the buzz given the original study by the main stream news media.   We are not just talking about a couple of newspaper headlines here, but quite an immense amount of attention given to what would otherwise (assuming any other substance being tested) have been an obscure study, of interest only to cancer researchers.

On radio, it became part of the evening news.   Among scientific circles the study was widely quoted.   The author himself remembering quite well, hearing an audio recording of a Pain Management Seminary.   The featured speaker prominently warning about all those Head and neck Cancer cases, and advised his fellow doctors (for that and legal reasons) to avoid using Medical Cannabis.   Even pro-Medical Cannabis organizations starting putting out warnings on the matter.

Obviously someone or something behind the scenes was fanning the flaming on this on one.   However, I myself was a bit more skeptical.   Remembering numerous past studies –

  • The New Orleans criminal study
    As per the American Mercury (magazine) – Dec 1935
    “The role of the latter (Cannabis) as a crime instigator is suggested by the report of the public prosecutor in New Orleans who in 1930 found that of 450 prisoners he dealt with, 125 were marihuana addicts.   Slightly less than half of the murderers, about twenty percent of the larceny men and about eighteen per cent of the robbery prisoners smoked what they called Merry Wonder.” - [Without comment, we will let the reader figure out what was wrong.]

  • The Great (1974) Heath/Tulane University Monkey Study;
    This one (allegedly) showed that Cannabis caused permanent brain damage when tested on Rhesus monkeys.   And was quoted far and wide by many a major politician as proof of the damaging effects of Cannabis.   The only problem was (when someone finally managed to get a copy of the methodology used), that the researchers had also (very conveniently) been depriving the monkeys of oxygen.   No wonder their brain cells were dying.  

  • The Vancouver British Colombia, driving while under the influence (of Cannabis) study.
    According to this study, nominal use of Cannabis affected your ability to drive a car . . . a great study and often quoted (for quite a while), by the narc’s. --- That was until a Freedom of Information Act request finally forced the governments to end its censorship of American made studies on the subject. [C]
Yet another study showing that cannabis affects your reproductive ability to . . . . ; And another one showing that it causes brain damage ; And yet another one showing . . . . ???   [enough said, I believe the reader gets the point] – When dealing with the subject of Medical Cannabis, we’ve all become very skeptical of yet another one of these studies.

Thus whenever one hears of yet another study claiming that Medical Cannabis causes X, Y, or Z . . . well, simply put, one tends to be a bit skeptical.   In fact the author remembers well, (without any hesitation) posting the following notice up on numerous pre-Cannabis email lists.
“Yet, another study has found something wrong with Medical Cannabis!   Now why don’t I believe them?   Could all those other anti-Cannabis studies, ALL FIT for the ‘Journal of Un-Reproducible Results’ have something to do with it. . . ”

Question – Why was a negative study FRONT PAGE NEWS, while subsequent studies (disproving the original) received but a whimper?   In fact were it not for the (so-called) ‘Alternative Media,’ one questions whether or not one would have even known that secondary studies even existed.   Which of and by itself brings up the issue of governmental interference.

Why was it a major news story when a study shows that one is “Twice-As-Likely” to get Head and Neck Cancer from Cannabis use?   Yet NOT NEWS when secondary follow-up studies contradict the original findings, now claiming that Cannabis users were only “Half-As-Likely” to get Head and Neck Cancer?

Obviously the answer has something to do with the Narc’s and their propaganda machine.   But as pro-Medical Cannabis groups also have access to the news media (via press releases, personal contacts with reporters), the ability of the narc’s to send out press-releases does not explain the whole question.   Which can only lead us to the obvious --- the I-N-T-I-M-I-D-A-T-I-O-N factor, which in turn lead to the media’s censorship of the subsequent studies.

WARNING: – At this time we have NO PROOF, no smoking gun – Other then common horse sense that censorship took place.   But what other explanation is there?

It is a well-documented fact that our Federal Narcotics Police have had a long history of censoring (through intimidation or otherwise), any Medical Cannabis research IF:
  • Its results would lead to any kind of FDA approval.
  • IF it had any kind of positive results
    A look at several of other censorship case files found in this section of the ‘Antique Cannabis Book’ is proof of that.   This is done via a myriad of different ways.

    First, permits (needed to do medical research on Cannabis) are issued only to selected individuals.   And never to anyone attempting to get FDA approval.   Thus the very flow of information is influenced (some would say censored) right at the source.

    This permit system also gives them the added advantage of obtaining advanced copies of most studies done – LONG before they become public knowledge.   And the importance of this cannot be underestimated.   With this advanced knowledge, they are then capable of controlling the way in which something is initially worded and released to the news media.

    Next, (historically) the narc’s have developed good working relationships with certain key people within the main stream news media.   They know exactly who and where to disseminate (exactly what they want known), via people they trust to say exactly what they want the public to know.

    Then there is the almost iron clad rule that the narc’s have had since the days of Harry Ansingler, of never cooperating with those (in the news media) that don’t cooperative with their agenda.   Thus making it hard as heck for an overworked reporter to do independent investigations, which in turn means fewer negative or unwanted press articles.

    And if that is not enough, the narc’s can always rely on out and out intimidation.
    • In 2011 a think tank did a study of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries, and the negative after affects of closing them down.   [see the Rand Corporation study, this chapter], which wasn’t public for very long before being censored at the demands of the LAPD.   Intimidation.

    • In Feb 2012 Radio Station KOCI took a pro-Medical Cannabis program off the air [see KOCI section this chapter] – the reason – fear of loosing or not having their FCC license renewed.   Intimidation.
    One could go on and on, but we hope that the reader gets the picture.   CENSORSHIP via silence is an all too common practice here in this country.   This study, showing negative effects from the use of Medical Cannabis and its subsequent follow up studies, which showed the opposite results.   Show us the power of the narcotics police to both publicize as a study as well as their power to drown out a story altogether.   At least from what is now called the main stream media.   The following article (from a Norml website) is one of the few that came out about the follow up studies:
    Marijuana Use Associated With a “Significantly Reduced Risk” of Head and Neck Cancers — Will The Mainstream Media Care? [D]
    “For some 35 years the United States federal government has been well aware that cannabis possesses potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. . . . .Yet to date, virtually no investigators have taken the time to assess marijuana’s potential anti-cancer effects in humans — until now.

    In a clinical abstract just published online on the Cancer Prevention Research, a team of U.S. investigators report that marijuana use, even long-term, is associated with a “significantly reduced risk” of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. . . . . I’ve said this before but it bears repeating.   What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer could have been achieved over the past 35 years had U.S. government officials, or for that matter members of the mainstream media, chosen to advance — rather than to suppress — clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis?   It’s a shame we have to speculate; it’s even more tragic that tens of thousands of families must needlessly suffer while we do. “

    Below is a letter that was sent to one of the main researchers who conducted the original study:
    Professor, Department of Epidemiology
    [contact info]
    Mr. (name withheld);

    I am with a pro-Medicinal Marihuana group and am writing this letter seeking your help.

    With reference to your statistical study entitled “Marijuana Smoking and Head, Neck Cancer” (published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Nov. 2002; V42; p103S-107S), as you know there have now been several other studies that are in contradiction.   One even states that Cannabis users are LESS not MORE likely to develop Head and Neck cancer.   Thus I’ve personally read your article several times with great interest and came up with some questions:

    First, why was Head and Neck Cancers (as opposed to say, arm and leg cancers) chosen?

    The study says that risk factors among the studied cancer patients   “. . . Controlling for age, sex, race, education, alcohol consumption, pack-years of (tobacco) cigarette smoking, and passive (tobacco) smoking . . . ”   --- were taken into account, but does not specify exactly how this was done?   Nor is it clear if these same factors were also taken into account with regards to the control group.

    In addition I was a little confused over the test statistics themselves – for instance your article reads:

    “The study was a case control design that included 173 cases with head and neck cancers diagnosed at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 1992-1994 and 176 controls who were recruited while donating blood at the hospital during the same period.”

    However, at a later point it reads: “This study included 28 nonsmokers and 76 subjects who smoked tobacco, marijuana, and/or cocaine.”

    Or a total of 104 test subjects.   Question, are we talking about the same statistics?   Or is this a totally different statistical study?

    Also, I am not sure – did the 76 test subjects smoke ONLY tobacco or both tobacco and Cannabis? And also it was unclear how many subjects smoke tobacco and cocaine but not Cannabis?

    I am hoping you can help me out with those questions. --- We are now putting together a website dealing with Medical Cannabis Studies and censorship, and while your study was (ah, how say we say it) anything but censored, still many are wondering why it received so much attention, while secondary test studies on Cannabis related Neck and Head cancers received so little.

    In other words, did the narcotics police (or those in favor of our present-day anti-Medical Cannabis laws) play a role in its dissemination AND a role in suppressing the other later studies from public view?   And this is very important, your study (being unfavorable to Cannabis) when it first came out was front page news in many newspapers, yet the other later studies showing no link between Cannabis and head and neck cancer received little or no mention in the main stream media.

    Mr. . . , I truly am hoping that you will help us out.   As a pro Cannabis museum, we ourselves make no pretense of neutrality.   However, if you go to our website , you will see that we devote a whole section to Quack Cannabis Medicines as well as a section on old Cannabis medicines that are so embarrassing that even we wished they had never been made.   In other words we try to keep an open mind.
    Museum Curator
    p.s.- you might as a researcher be interested in the fact that historical Cannabis medicines were NOT smokable medicines but oral medications.
    [NOTE -- The museum never received a reply]

    [C]- There are two studies that I particularly like to quote. One (DOT HS 808-078) titled "Marijuana and actual driving performance" is important because automobile drivers were actually given Marihuana and monitored. The end result of the study: While there was some effect, it wasn't enough to prevent safe driving. And just to put the coffin nails on the subject. They actually translated the effects into equivalent blood alcohol levels that we can all understand -- those being between a 0.04 and 0.08. In most states blood alcohol lever greater than 0.10 is needed to be considered a drunk driver. So you're well within the safety limits. In California the standards are more stringent, a 0.08 or greater is considered a drunk driver. But note that one will never be above a 0.08 (and rarely if ever at .08), at least not in the quantities needed by Cancer Victims. And in yet another study [DOT HS 808 067] conducted by the 'National Highway Traffic Safety Administration' a background check was done on actual traffic accidents in which Marihuana was involved. There results were, that given all other factors and traffic conditions, Marihuana users were no more or less likely to have been involved in traffic accidents than any other drivers. Note: These studies have been reproduced by various governmental agencies, with similar results.
    [D]-- Norml website --


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    The CENSORSHIP Files