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How dangerous is Marijuana?

By chillinwill, Jan 19, 2009 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. chillinwill
    The question of is smoking Marihuana dangerous will largely depend on who you ask, where they get their information, the reliability of the information, and whether or not the individual has actually partook of the ‘herb’. Furthermore to what do we compare the alleged dangerousness of this plant; hashish, heroine, cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, tobacco, narcotics or physician prescribed FDA approved medication?

    The idea that Marijuana is harmful to the health of an individual is based on studies done in the 1960’s and 1970’s. In the book “Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts:” Dr. Lynn Zimmer and John Morgan address this issue:

    “In 1972, after reviewing the scientific evidence, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse concluded that while marijuana was not entirely safe, its dangers had been grossly overstated. Since then, researchers have conducted thousands of studies of humans, animals, and cell cultures. None reveal any findings dramatically different from those described by the National Commission in 1972. In 1995, based on thirty years of scientific research editors of the British medical journal Lancet concluded that “the smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health.”

    Comparing the harmful effects of marijuana to approved medications prescribed by licensed phayicians, the FDA reveals to Medical Marijuanaprocon.org in an FOIA request that the primary suspect of the deaths of individuals using marijuana is 0 compared to 10,008. This includes 196 deaths caused by taking anti emetics (Compazine, Reglan, Marinol, Zofran, Anzemet, Kytril, Tigan), 118 for taking anti-spasmodics (Baclofen, Zanaflex), 1539 deaths for taking anti-psychotics (Haldol, Lithium, Neurontin), and 8101 deaths for taking medications in the treatment of ADD, depression, narcolepsy, erectile dysfunction and pain (Ritalin, Wellbutrin, Adderall, Viagra, Vioxx). (See: http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/viewresource.asp?resourceID=145 )

    Does Marijuana impare driving ability? No. “…No increased risk for road trauma was found for drivers exposed to cannabis.” (”Psychoactive Substance Use and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Accidents,” by K.L.L. Movig et al. (Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 631-636, July 2004)

    Can Marijuana cause death? No. “No acute lethal overdoses of cannabis are known, in contrast to several of its illegal (for example, cocaine) and legal (for example, alcohol, aspirin, acetaminophen) counterparts.” (The British Medical Journal by Stephen Sidney M.D. Vol. 327, pp. 635-635) Does Marijuana cause lung cancer? No. “We found absolutely no suggestion of a dose response [i.e. marijuana smoking leads directly to lung cancer].The data on tobacco use… revealed a very potent effect and clear dose-response relationship — a 21-fold greater risk of developing lung cancer if you smoke more than two packs a day. So, in summary, we failed to observe a positive association of marijuana use and other potential co-founders.” (Donald P. Tashkin, M.D., reported at the June 2005 meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society on his as-yet unpublished study of 1,209
    Los Angeles residents aged 59 or younger with cancer:)

    Does marijuana damage the brain? No. In the aforementioned book book Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts Dr. Zimmer states that “None of the medical tests currently used to detect brain damage in humans have found harm from marijuana, even from long-term high-dose use….The claim that marijuana destroys brain cells is based on a speculative report dating back a quarter of a century that has never been supported by any scientific study.”

    Medical marijuana decreases nausea and vomiting of patients undergoing chemotherapy, (New England Journal of Med. 1975 Oct 16;293(16):795-797), reduce or eliminate seizures (Lutz B; Biochem Pharmacol. 2004 Nov 1; 68(9):1691-8), reduce inner ocular pressure of glaucoma patients (Hepler RS, Frank IM.; J. Amer. Med. Assn. 1971; 217: 1392), decreases nausea and increases appetite in late stage HIV/AIDS patients (Braitstein, Paulaab, Kendall et al,; AIDS. 2001 March 9; 15(4): 532-533), treatment of migraines (Russo EB.; Neuor Endocrinol Lett. 2004 Feb-Apr; 25(1-2):31-9), symptoms of MS (Baker D, Pryce G, Croxford JL, et al; FASEB Journal. 2001; 15: 300-302), cronic pain (Milstein SL, MacCannell K, Karr G, Clark S.; Int Pharmacopsychiatry. 1975; 10(3):177-82), and pain and inflammation of arthritis (DePetrocellis L, Melck D, Bisogns T, Di Marzo V.; Chem Phys Lipids. 2000 Nov; 108(1-2):191-209

    In all fairness it must be said that there are many studies by organizations, and health professionals that will state the opposite of what has been said. The question that need to be asked when reviewing the findings is do those organizations and professionals have an axe to grind in regards to marijuana? Who is funding these organizations and professionals and what do they have to gain by their findings?

    Finally if marijuana is in fact harmful then why is it that these National and International Health Organizations support its use for medical purposes? This list does not include State and Local Organizations, AIDS Organizations, Health Organizations or National and International Organizations.

    AIDS Action Council
    AIDS Treatment News
    American Academy of Family Physicians
    American Medical Student Association
    American Nurses Association
    American Preventive Medical Association
    American Public Health Association
    American Society of Addiction Medicine
    Arthritis Research Campaign (United Kingdom)
    Australian Medical Association (New South Wales) Limited
    Australian National Task Force on Cannabis
    Belgian Ministry of Health
    British House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
    British House of Lords Select Committee On Science and Technology (Second Report)
    British Medical Association
    Canadian AIDS Society
    Canadian Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs
    Dr. Dean Edell (surgeon and nationally syndicated radio host)
    French Ministry of Health
    Health Canada
    Kaiser Permanente
    Lymphoma Foundation of America
    The Montel Williams MS Foundation
    Multiple Sclerosis Society (Canada)
    The Multiple Sclerosis Society (United Kingdom)
    National Academy of Sciences Institute Of Medicine (IOM)
    National Association for Public Health Policy
    National Nurses Society on Addictions
    Netherlands Ministry of Health
    New England Journal of Medicine
    New South Wales (Australia) Parliamentary Working Party on the Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes

    Posted by CODeist2009
    Denver Post Blog
    January 18, 2009
    http://neighbors.denverpost.com/blog.php/2009/01/18/how-dangerous-is-marijuana/

Comments

  1. KRISSTO
    SWIM has a bad memory in general but when SWIM smokes weed, he has a tendancy to get lost while driving or make wrong turns. However, when SWIM is driving while high, he is always checking his mirrors twice before changing lanes and is not as likely to get involved in road rage incidents. SWIM has been known to get very irratible with other drivers when he is not high on weed. SWIM has very little appetite unless smoking weed and he has been on Marinol and it doesn't work the same way. SWIM has coughed until he puked a little while smoking a bong. While on weed, SWIM laughed so hard while drinking fruit punch that he coughed and choked until it came out of the corners of his eyes and looked a little like blood. When SWIM was younger, he didn't seperate the seeds and those little suckers jump right out of the pipe and burn little holes in every shirt SWIM had. SWIM's first experience with weed plants wasn't so fun. He knew nothing of drying and curing and hid large bags under his bed sealed so no one could smell them. By the end of week 3, SWIM's weed smelled like ammonia and was very nasty. SWIM has put himself in numerous dangerous situations trying to cop some weed. SWIM knows people who get hurt in jail and have their lives ruined for having too much weed and too many baggies. SWIM dropped a joint while riding his 4 wheeler and hit a curb and wiped out when he turned around to see where it landed. He also got his hand stuck under the car seat trying to grab another joint he dropped. Me personally though, I can't think of a single danger of marijuana use except maybe going to jail for it or the fact you are inhaling smoke from a burning substance which has to have it's dangers. Maybe people with asthma should find another way to use weed, but there really isn't much danger in comparison to some of the things that are legal and socially acceptable. If it were given to patients and made readily accessible to recreational users, it would reduce the risk greatly.

    Ohh... Don't smoke the blue papers that come with TOP tobacco no matter how desperate you are. When the ink is burned, it is unusually toxic.(one of my class projects when I was in school)
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