I've performed a meta-analysis of various scare stories about marijuana appearing in major papers this week. The results of my research are as follows:
Alarmist reports about marijuana will turn out to be wildly exaggerated and in some cases completely fictitious. Obvious inconsistencies will be overlooked by the press and widely available contrary evidence will be ignored.
I read various stories about marijuana and used basic logic and reasoning to determine whether their conclusions made any sense. In some cases, I used Google and other sources to search for other information that contradicted seemingly dubious claims.
Marijuana Increases the Risk of Psychosis by 40%: This one turned out to be totally wrong. Apparently a correlation between marijuana use and psychosis doesn't necessarily mean that marijuana caused the psychosis. Many of the researchers made this clear in their findings, but reporters left it out. Furthermore, none of the stories on this topic explained that the risk of psychosis is small, so a 40% increase isn't that significant to begin with. Reporters also failed to observe that massive increases in marijuana use over the past century have not corresponded with increased rates of psychosis.
Smoking a Joint is as Bad For Your Lungs as 5 Cigarettes: This report also turned out to be almost entirely bogus. Shockingly, "air flow" was the only category (of several) in which marijuana was determined to be more harmful. Researchers stated that marijuana was 2.5 to 5 times more harmful than tobacco in this category, which reporters simply rounded up to 5 for the headline (behold the lofty journalistic standards of Reuters). Reporters also failed to mention conclusive research proving that marijuana does not cause lung cancer; a notable omission since "bad for your lungs" likely implies cancer for many readers. Finally, media reports failed to explain that marijuana users consume far less per day, and do not continue using for nearly as many years as tobacco smokers.
Marijuana May Cause Skin Cancer: I don't know anything about skin cancer, so I won't attempt to refute the findings of this Harvard study. The manner in which it was reported, however, leaves much to be desired. The FOX News headline reads "Study: Marijuana Use May Cause Skin Cancer." Only upon reading the article does the reader discover that only one extremely rare form of skin cancer has been associated with marijuana, and that the researchers claim that more research is needed. Furthermore, only people with weakened immune systems are even susceptible to this infection. A more appropriate headline would have been "Study: Marijuana May Cause Skin Cancer Under Very Rare Circumstances."
Reading coverage of marijuana research in the mainstream press increases the risk of becoming misinformed by 50-300%. More research is clearly needed to identify further sources of flawed marijuana reporting. The risk of bad reporting remains stable despite concerted efforts to inform the media that hysterical claims about marijuana frequently lack scientific merit. Exposure to poorly researched news about marijuana is correlated with support for costly, ineffective, highly punitive marijuana laws.
Six years ago I was literally struck down with Fibromyalgia. I simply couldn't get out of bed one morning. I crawled versus walking most of the time as it was less painful. My husband had to lift me onto the toilet, give me baths, cook, etc., because I was of no use to anyone, including myself. I also had no appetite whatsoever. I lost 20 pounds in a matter of weeks, leaving me a frail 100 lb 50 year old. My husband thought maybe marijuana might help with my appetite, so he "scored" some for me. It not only restored my appetite, it also took a lot of my pain away. It makes me sick to think we both could have been arrested. When is this country going to wake up?!!As before, good question.
*They've been providing it for decades to a select group of seriously ill patients, and continue to do so.
*They've approved a synthetic drug with the same active ingredient (THC).
*They commissioned a huge study in 1999, which explicitly said it works.
*They've been blocking research, which makes no sense if they think the results will favor them.
So the debate over medical marijuana isn't even about whether it has medical properties. It is about something else entirely, stated perfectly by ONDCP's Tom Riley just the other day:
"…a lot of the people who are behind this aren't really interested in sick people who need medicine, they're interested in marijuana legalization and they're playing on the suffering of genuinely sick people to get it." [Reuters]As silly as it is, this argument explains everything there is to know about why the government actually opposes medical marijuana. Though countless mainstream medical, legal, and religious organizations support medical marijuana, the federal government remains fixated on drug policy reformers and our role in defending the rights of patients.
The simple truth is that they are afraid that medical marijuana could lead to full-blown legalization of marijuana for recreational use. And it's not an irrational concern. If you're struggling to prevent accurate information about marijuana's effects from reaching the scientific community and the public, the last thing you want is a huge user population that can speak openly about their experiences with the drug.
Ironically, it is ONDCP's obsession with legalization that has turned medical marijuana into a great controversy, not ours. Similarly, it is ONDCP that exploits patients for political purposes, not us. Opposition to medical marijuana is not championed by doctors or scientists. It is funded and carried out by political operatives who want to keep marijuana illegal for everyone. That's the real medical marijuana conspiracy.
Dear MCD Applicant;In other words, San Francisco is ordering dispensaries to give patients more bud for their buck. The extra 3rd of a gram per ounce isn’t going to put any providers out of business, but it's amusing to see the city intervene on behalf of medical marijuana consumers.
It has come to my attention that some MCD's [medical cannabis dispensaries] are using the incorrect equivalent conversion between grams and ounces. You must use 28.35 grams/ounce, not 28 grams/ounce for all cannabis sold by weight. The law behind this is in the State Business and Professions Code, which is typically enforced by Weights and Measures (State Dept of Agriculture). As they currently are not addressing weights and measures issues regarding cannabis clubs, the City's MCD Inspection Program will enforce this requirement.
Please feel free to share this with any club operator (I do not have email
for most operators).
Thank you for your cooperation.
This is the kind of regulation the marijuana industry actually needs. Hopefully someday, when the DEA shows up at your dispensary, it won’t be to confiscate your proceeds and product, it will be to warn you: "It's come to our attention that you're selling skimpy sacks…"