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US government cover up cannabis research since 1974

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Cannabis Sacrament Minister.
Cannabis Sacrament Minister.

Joined: 14 Apr 2003
Posts: 2550
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:59 am    Post subject: US government cover up cannabis research since 1974 Reply with quote

Need more prove? Rolling Eyes

For three decades, politicians and bureaucrats have ignored research on marijuana's role in cancer prevention

By Paul Armentano
Special to Betterhumans
10/6/2004 3:10 PM

Cannabis cover-up: Since 1974, says NORML Foundation analyst Paul Armentano, the US government has turned a blind eye to research on marijuana's anticancer properties.

Clinical research published recently in the journals Cancer Research and BMC Medicine touting the ability of cannabis to stave the spread of certain cancers is the latest in a three-decade long line of studies demonstrating pot's potential as an anticancer agent.

Not familiar with this research? You're not alone.

For more than 30 years, US politicians and bureaucrats have turned a blind eye to any and all science indicating that marijuana may play a role in cancer prevention, a finding that was first documented as early as 1974. That year, a research team at the Medical College of Virginia (acting at the behest of the federal government, which must preapprove all US research on marijuana) discovered that cannabis inhibited malignant tumor cell growth in culture and in mice. According to the study's results, reported nationally in an August 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, marijuana's psychoactive component THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."

Despite these favorable preliminary findings, US government officials dismissed the study (which was eventually published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1975), and refused to fund any follow-up research until conducting a similar—though secret—clinical trial in the mid-1990s. That study, conducted by the US National Toxicology Program to the tune of two million dollars, concluded that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods had greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls.

Rather than publicize their findings, government researchers once again shelved the results, which only came to light after a draft copy of the findings were leaked in 1997 to a medical journal which in turn forwarded the story to the national media.

Nevertheless, in the eight years since the completion of the National Toxicology trial, the US government has yet to encourage or fund additional, follow-up studies examining the drug's potential to protect against the spread of cancerous tumors.

Foreign findings

Fortunately, scientists overseas have generously picked up where US researchers so abruptly left off. In 1998, a research team at Madrid's Complutense University discovered that THC can selectively induce programmed cell death in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting surrounding healthy cells. Then in 2000, they reported in the journal Nature Medicine that injections of synthetic THC eradicated malignant gliomas (brain tumors) in one-third of treated rats, and prolonged life in another third by six weeks.

Last year, researchers at the University of Milan in Naples, Italy, reported in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana inhibited the growth of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner, and selectively targeted and killed malignant cells through a process known as apoptosis.

More recently, researchers reported in the August 15, 2004 issue of Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, that marijuana's constituents inhibited the spread of brain cancer in human tumor biopsies. In a related development, a research team from the University of South Florida further noted that THC can also selectively inhibit the activation and replication of gamma herpes viruses. The viruses, which can lie dormant for years within white blood cells before becoming active and spreading to other cells, are thought to increase one's chances of developing cancers such as Kaposi's Sarcoma, Burkitt's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease.

Regrettably, US politicians have been little swayed by these results, and remain steadfastly opposed to the notion of sponsoring—or even acknowledging—this growing body of clinical research. Their stubborn refusal to do so is a disservice not only to the scientific process, but also to the health and well being of America's citizenry.

Nonetheless, it appears that their silence will be unable to put this genie back in the bottle, as overseas research continues to move forward at a staggering pace. Writing this month in the journal of the American Society of Hematology, researchers at Saint Bartholomew's Hospital in London reported that THC induces cell death (apoptosis) in three leukemic cell lines. Authors further noted that the cannabinoid appears to function in manner different than standard chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin, and begins taking effect within mere hours after administration.

Swiss researchers are also weighing in on the use of cannabinoids' anticancer properties, reporting in a recent study published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology that endogenous cannabinoids (naturally occurring compounds in the body that bind to the same receptors as the cannabinoids in marijuana) induced apoptosis in long-term and recently established glioma cell lines. Even more notably, a review article published last month in the journal Neuropharmacology concluded that cannabinoids' ability to selectively target and kill malignant cells set the basis for their potential use in the management of various types of cancers.

Unfortunately, as long as US politicians continue putting pot politics before patients' lives, it appears that any potential breakthroughs regarding the potentially curative powers of cannabis will only emerge in a land far from America's shores and beyond the reach of close-minded Washington bureaucrats.

Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. He may be contacted via email at


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Last edited by Ferre on Fri Oct 15, 2004 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cannabis Sacrament Minister
Cannabis Sacrament Minister

Joined: 19 Nov 2003
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:03 am    Post subject: Lue. Reply with quote

I remember getting angry when I read this news.

My son died of Luekemia. While sick, and before I had a computer, I asked the hospital staff about how cannabis helps people with cancer. I got the cold shoulder... not much answers, and after pressing it, I was told about Marinol and He received some.

I did all the research I could from the library, which wasn't bad.

then, since He died, I got a computer and started searching for everything I could find about cannabis.

Then I found this news that the Gov. knew since 1974.

NOW, this year, a few more new studies indicate Cannabis helps against Luekemia.

Government, doing what the US is doing with Cannabis, is Biblical.

There doesn't seem any way around it. The US Gov. is acting Biblically evil.


Here is a letter to the editor...

US OH: PUB LTE: A Father's Tale

As a cannabis activist having zero tolerance for cannabis prohibition, John Lasker's story ( "Pot RX," 11/19 ) is quite an eye-opener. It is regrettable to hear educated people support caging sick humans for using a plant.

My experience with Marinol is really my dead son's experience. With leukemia, chemo, surgeries, spinal taps and all its implications, he just vomited it up, only to be billed highly for what was known to not stay in the gut long enough to possibly be effective. He should have been allowed smoke or vapor of pure cannabis plant material, that works much quicker, that he couldn't vomit. Instead he was allowed to self administer morphine every six minutes for pain.

It seems the more the U.S. government fights to exterminate cannabis ( which I know of biblically as kaneh bosm ), the more cancer rates increase; indeed when my son died, stats indicated that 1 out of 4 U.S. citizens will directly confront cancer, and today that number has risen to 1 out of 3. Since every American family will have to confront cancer and cannabis helps, citizens should consider directly requesting that Congress reschedule cannabis from schedule one ( in the same category as heroin ), to schedule two.

A sequel story might investigate and report what is known about the ability of cannabis/THC, to shrink cancerous tumors; the ability of cannabis to stop some viral forms of leukemia from forming; and how the government has known this since 1974.

Stan White

Dillon, Colorado

Pubdate: Wed, 3 Dec 2003
Source: Cleveland Free Times (OH)
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