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Cannabis is safe medicine
Williams Goddard, 1996
In reaction to medical cannabis access referendums on the ballots in Arizona and
California, former presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush signed
a letter stating that they ``categorically oppose'' access to cannabis for its
many proven therapeutic uses such as the prevention of blindness and epileptic
chief concern was that legal medical access would send the message that cannabis
is safe. The presidents can, however, lay their safety concerns to rest because
the scientific literature overwhelmingly confirms that cannabis is both an effective
and safe medicine.
The Cannabis Safety Profile
The journal PHARMACOLOGICAL REVIEWS  reports that decades of research prove
that, "Compared with legal drugs...marijuana does not pose greater risks." Yet
based upon mortality statistics, we can safely conclude that cannabis is one of
the safest medical drugs known, for, while prescription drugs, defined as safe
by the FDA, kill up to 27,000 and aspirin up to 1,000 Americans per year, cannabis
kills 0 per year .
When we know the facts we can understand why in 1988, after extensive review of
the scientific literature, the DEA's own administrative judge Frances Young concluded
that ``Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known
to man.'' 
of legal cannabis access would have us believe that there is not enough research
available to determine its safety. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cannabis
is one of the most thoroughly researched drugs in history, and the evidence gathered
over the centuries clearly proves that it is safe:
* The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894): an exhaustive seven-volume,
3,281-page report that concludes: "Moderate [cannabis] use produces practically
no ill effects." 
* The Panama Canal Military Study (1916-1929), amassing extensive data on the
health impact of cannabis smoking upon American soldiers stationed in Panama,
recommended that "No steps be taken by the Canal Zone authorities to prevent the
sale or use of Marihuana." The research also concluded that, "There is no evidence
that Marihuana...is...'habit- forming.'" 
* The LaGuardia Report (1939-1944), commissioned by New York City Mayor Fiorello
LaGuardia, which included evidence gathered over thousands of years, concluded
that "Smoking marihuana does not lead to addiction... does not lead to morphine,
heroin, or cocaine addiction" and that "the publicity concerning the catastrophic
effects of marihuana smoking in New York City is unfounded." 
* The Baroness Wootton Report (1968), commissioned by the Advisory Committee on
Drug Dependence of the United Kingdom Home Office, concluded, "There is no evidence
that...serious physical dangers are directly associated with the smoking of cannabis."
The report also noted that "Cannabis use does not lead to heroin addiction" and
that "there is no evidence that [cannabis]...is producing in otherwise normal
people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment." 
The HARVARD MEDICAL
SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH LETTER  reports the findings of other major cannabis
major studies conducted in Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Greece, researchers have compared
heavy long-term cannabis users with non-users and found no evidence of intellectual
or neurological damage, no changes in personality, and no loss of the will to
work or participate in society.
The Jamaican study states that, even as cannabis use in Jamaica "is pervasive"
and is used "in heavier quantities with greater THC potency than in the U.S.,"
its use is "without deleterious social or psychological consequences." 
What's more, the three studies cited, the largest human cannabis studies to date,
also revealed that heavy long-term cannabis users scored slightly higher on IQ
tests, had slightly lower rates of illness and cancer, and lived longer on average
than non-users. Users also proved to be more relaxed and sociable than non-users
. The best evidence indicates, contrary to GovtMedia disinformation,
that cannabis is safe and good for you.
In line with the findings of the Panama Canal study and the LaGuardia Report,
current research confirms that the addictive potential of cannabis is very low.
The journal TRENDS IN PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES states that research shows cannabis
has "limited potential for development of...psychological dependence due to the
weak reinforcing properties of Delta-9-THC."  BRAIN RESEARCH journal observes
that "cannabinoid dependence and withdrawal phenomena are minimal."
Research proves that cannabis is nontoxic. For example, in the journal FUNDAMENTAL
AND APPLIED TOXICOLOGY , Dr. William Slikker, director of the Neurotoxicology
Division of the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR), described the
health of monkeys exposed to very high levels of cannabis for an extended period:
The general health
of the monkeys was not compromised by a year of marijuana exposure as indicated
by weight gain, carboxyhemoglobin and clinical chemistry/hematology values.
When THE ARKANSAS TIMES  asked Dr. Merle Paule of NCTR about evidence of cannabis
toxicity and the health of the monkeys in the study, Dr. Paule said, "There's
just nothing there. They were all fine."
The journal TOXICOLOGY LETTERS  published a study that found no link between
cannabis smoking and lung cancer. The seven researchers in the study concluded:
It has been suggested
that marijuana smoking is a proximal cause of respiratory cancer. However, these
intimations have not been borne out by epidemiological investigation.
Not only is the evidence linking cannabis smoking to cancer negative, but the
largest human studies cited indicated that cannabis users had lower rates of cancer
than nonusers. What's more, those who smoked both cannabis and tobacco had lower
rates of lung cancer than those who smoked only tobacco -- a strong indication
of chemo-prevention . Even more, in 1975 researchers at the Medical
College of Virginia found that cannabis showed powerful antitumor activity against
both benign and malignant tumors (the government then banned all future cannabis/cancer
research) . In fact, the NEW ENGLISH DISPENSATORY of 1764 recommends boiled
cannabis roots for the elimination of tumors . Powerful evidence that cannabis
not only does not cause cancer, but that it may prevent and even cure cancer.
The few studies
that the GovtMedia drums into the public mind over and over, which claim to show
that cannabis is a harmful drug, are almost all the work of the the government's
top hired gun, Dr. Gabriel Nahas. The NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE described
Nahas's work as "psychopharmacological McCarthyism that compels him to use half-truths,
innuendo and unverified assertions." The JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
also condemned his work, stating, "Examples of biased selection and...omissions
of facts abound in every chapter." 
only does the best scientific research overwhelmingly confirm that cannabis is
both an effective medicine and a safe drug, but that it may both prevent and cure
cancer and may be generally beneficial to health. What this shows us most clearly,
in light of the consensus to the contrary, is the enormous power of a Big Lie.
With its vast resources,
the "GovtMedia elite" are able to fabricate and fob off a pharmacological fraud
against both cannabis and the public interest. Through sheer repetition and consistent
suppression of contrary information, they are able to construct an edifice of
public consensus which even the hardest scientific facts fail to topple.
The truth is no stronger than the ability of true information to surpass the public
distribution of false and misleading information. The GovtMedia has a greater
ability to distribute a Big Lie than any other sector of society has to distribute
the truth. However, this report right here contains copious quantities of carefully
referenced scientific facts that consistently and conclusively confirm that cannabis
is safe -- thereby exploding the GovtMedia's Big Lie.
As truth is only as powerful as it is known, do all that is in your power to make
these powerful facts known, that we might put an end to the destructive and illogical
prohibition of the proven safe and effective drug cannabis, for possession of
which 10 million Americans have been arrested since 1965 .
 "Three Former U.S. Presidents Oppose Medical Marijuana Measures," Associated
 PHARMACOLOGICAL REVIEWS: Health Aspects of Cannabis. 1986, 38:1, 1-20. pg.
 Bureau of
Mortality Statistics, 1988. U.S. Public Health Service statistics. National Institute
of Drug Abuse statistics. U.S. Surgeon General's Report.
 The Emperor Wears No Cloths. Jack Herer, Queen of Clubs Pub, 1991. Recommended:
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADDICTIONS. Spring 1968, digest of 1894 Indian Hemp Drugs
 The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report of 1894. Jefferson Press, Silv.Spring,
MD, 1969, John Kaplan.
 MILITARY SURGEON. 1933, vol:73, pages 269-280.
 The La Guardia Report, reprinted in "The Marijuana Papers," Indianapolis:
 The Consumer's Union Report: Licit & Illicit Drugs. Mt. Vernon, New York,
MEDICAL SCHOOL MENTAL HEALTH LETTER: Marijuana. L. Grinspoon, vol. 4, no. 5. Nov,
in Jamacia: A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use. 1975. Anchor
Cannabis in Costa Rica: A Study of Chronic Marijuana Use, 1980-82, Institute for
the Study of Human Issues, 3401 Science Center Philadelphia, PA.
 TRENDS IN PHARMACOLOGICAL SCIENCES: Neurobiology of Marijuana Abuse. 1992,
13:201-206. pg. 203.
 BRAIN RESEARCH: Chronic cannabinoid administration alters cannabinoid receptor
binding in rat brain: a quantitative autoradiographic study. 1993, 616:293-302.
AND APPLIED TOXICOLOGY: Chronic Marijuana Smoke Exposure in the Rhesus Monkey.
1991, Aug; 17, 321- 34.
 THE ARKANSAS TIMES: Refer Madness. 9/16/93.
 TOXICOLOGY LETTERS, "No Increase in Carcinogen-DNA Adducts in the Lungs of
Monkeys Exposed Chronically to Marijuana Smoke," 1992, Dec;63 (3): 321-32.
 Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years. Plenum Press, 1980.
 The Great Drug War, Macmillan Publishing, 1987.
 Marijuana Policy Project, 202-462-5747, P.O. Box 77492, Capitol Hill, Washington,
D.C. 20013. http://www.mpp.org, MPP@MPP.ORG
(c) 1996 Ian Williams Goddard - (*) free to copy nonprofit w/ attribute.