Thursday, November 8, 2007

2000 - Pot Shrinks Tumors: Government Knew in '74

May 31, 2000
Raymond Cushing

Conspiracy theories are always entertaining, but this is a particularly convincing one. Published in AlterNet, an online news source, the writer, Raymond Cushing, alleges that the U.S. Government knew that medicinal marijuana had anti-cancer effects since 1974. The medical college of Virginia, funded by the National Institute of Health, found that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, slowed the growth of lung cancer, breast cancer, and virus-induced leukemia. The DEA then shut down the research in 1976, and President Ford ended public research by granting rights to pharmaceutical companies in order to try to develop synthetic forms of THC without the high. A more recent study done by Madrid researchers in 2000 found that THC had beneficial effects on incurable brain tumors in rats. Most rats that were treated with THC lived longer, and some brain tumors went into remission. They also tested healthy rats for adverse side effects from THC, and found none. There was no water/food intake change, nor necrosis, edema, infection or trauma. The story of the Madrid findings ran on Feb. 29, 2000 in the March issue of “Nature Medicine,” but was ignored by mainstream press in America.

Is there really a giant governmental conspiracy to keep people from knowing about the beneficial effects of marijuana? Maybe, but this article doesn't prove it. The Madrid research was comparing rats with tumors given THC vs. rats that were given a similar, synthetic compound. There was no placebo trial of rats given a non-medicinal solution. Without a placebo, the results can't be compared, and by themselves, they don't mean much. This article also conflicts with the previous post about the 1978 program to start medicinal marijuana research. That program doesn't seem to fit with the idea of a government that's trying to cover up legitimate scientific research. Also, this article says that very little literature can be found about the 1974 Virginia study, since Reagan and Bush went on a crusade to destroy medicinal marijuana documents in 1983. However, the more likely explanation is that the Virginia study didn't happen—hence the lack of research articles...or is that what the government wants us to think?


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