Brilliant New Book Presents the Case Against Legalization

There are at least two sides to every debate, but in the case of marijuana legalization, only proponents’ side is being heard. That changes with the publication this month of Marijuana Debunked.

One of the favorite claims of marijuana-legalization proponents (and biased journalists, see next story) is that marijuana cures cancer. Like most other claims for the drug’s ability to cure or relieve some 250 different diseases, this one originates from 1) a lack of understanding about how science works and 2) plain, old-fashioned greed.

Ed Gogek, MD, is an addiction psychiatrist who has treated more than 10,000 addicts over his 30-year practice. Like all doctors, he has been trained to evaluate evidence that leads to FDA drug approval as well as insufficient evidence that fails to support such medical claims.

In Marijuana Debunked, Dr. Gogek exposes medical marijuana for what it is: the camel’s nose under the recreational marijuana tent. The four states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational pot got there by first legalizing medical pot. And medical pot provided the opening for a commercial industry to develop that already rivals the tobacco and alcohol industries in targeting children and the addicted as lifetime consumers.

Dr. Gogek analyzes the substantial research that shows how marijuana hurts people, especially children. He calls out the media for biased reporting about the drug and the entertainment industry for promoting it’s use. He asks us to rethink marijauna policy to find a “third way” between prohibition and legalization and describes what that might look like.

In short, Dr. Gogek has made a powerful, passionate case against legalization and its inevitable consequences. He shows that we have a choice: we can base marijuana policy on science and find an alternative to current policy or we can succumb to the siren call of free-market profits and increased tax revenues (that won’t cover costs) and legalize a third addictive drug. Everyone concerned about health, justice, and the ability of our citizens to thrive should read his book.

Did the National Cancer Institute “Finally Admit that Marijuana Cures Cancer”?
When a news story begins like this—“For the medical industrial complex, there is nothing as terrifying as a cure, or remedy, for a highly profitable and fatal disease like cancer”—you know you are in for a biased read. published a story Sunday that asserts the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is now “advising that cannabinoids are useful in treating cancer and its side effects by smoking, eating it in a baked product, drinking herbal teas, or even spraying it under the tongue.”

Deconstructing this quotation word-for-word reveals it is actually a combination of phrases from different questions in Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ): Questions and Answers about Cannabis on NCI’s website:

advising–not found anywhere in “Cannabis and Cannabinoids.”

that cannabinoids are useful in treating cancer and its side effects—these words are from Question 2, What are cannabinoids, second paragraph: “Cannabinoids may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment” (emphasis added).

by smoking, eating it in a baked product, drinking herbal teas, or even spraying it under the tongue—these words and phrases are lifted from different parts of Question 5, How is cannabis administered?

“Cannabis may be taken by mouth or may be inhaled. When taken by mouth (in baked products or as an herbal tea), the main psychoactive ingredient in Cannabis (delta-9-THC) is processed by the liver, making an additional psychoactive chemical.  . . . A growing number of clinical trials are studying a medicine made from a whole-plant extract of Cannabis that contains specific amounts of cannabinoids. This medicine is sprayed under the tongue.”

[The medicine is nabiximols, trade-name Sativex, which is 50 percent THC and 50 percent cannabidiol extracted from the marijuana plant and purified.]

In addition to doctoring his quotation, the author presents his claim as information NCI quietly slipped onto its website only two weeks ago. He fails to notice that the mid-July date is an update, not a brand new “admission” of information “previously concealed from the public.”

He also fails to report Questions 9 and 10 which point out that FDA has not approved cannabis or cannabinoids for cancer treatment, not approved cannabis for treating the side effects of chemotherapy, but has approved two drugs which are synthetic THC, Dronabinol and Nabilone, for relieving chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting in patients who do not respond to standard therapy.

But reporting that would make it hard to conclude, as the author does, that “it is absolutely despicable, and frankly evil, that the medical industry helped keep an incredibly inexpensive and highly-effective cancer-killing drug out of reach.” gets an “A” for spin, but an “F” for accuracy. File this story in the trash can where it belongs.

Read story here. Read National Cancer Institute Cannabis and Cannabinoids Q&A here.

Source:  26th August 2015

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