CNN: Dr. Sanja Gupta: Cannabis versus Cancer (Disinfo Alert)

Dr Gupta, cherry-picking the science is not a good way to restore lost credibility.

Note: overall, the news that Sanjay Gupta has come out in favor of cannabis is a giant leap forward for all of us. While I am celebrating this breakthrough, I feel compelled to note certain things along the way. THC’s ability to heal a deadly disease is nothing to whitewash or ignore, so please excuse me if I sound rude, but I won’t be silent about this.

Why Gupta is now spreading more misinformation, in this case by what is not said, is unknown, but one could assume that the eventual goal of demonizing/minimizing the beneficial effects of THC, whilst hailing the “non-psychoactive” CBD, is to sell you pills, rather than allow you to think you can grow your own cancer cure. (If he didn’t apologize for misleading us, and appear to now be on the side of science, he could no longer be used to spread disinformation.)

I cannot believe that Sanjay, after an entire year of research, could have missed stuff like this:

Cristina Sanchez, a young biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism when she noticed something peculiar. She had been screening brain cancer cells because they grow faster than normal cell lines and thus are useful for research purposes. But the cancer cells died each time they were exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.

Instead of gaining insight into how cells function, Sanchez had stumbled upon the anti-cancer properties of THC. In 1998, she reported in a European biochemistry journal that THC “induces apoptosis [cell death] in C6 glioma cells,” an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Subsequent peer-reviewed studies in several countries would show that THC and other marijuana-derived compounds, known as “cannabinoids,” are effective not only for cancer-symptom management (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue), they also confer a direct antitumoral effect.

A team of Spanish scientists led by Manuel Guzman conducted the first clinical trial assessing the antitumoral action of THC on human beings. Guzman administered pure THC via a catheter into the tumors of nine hospitalized patients with glioblastoma, who had failed to respond to standard brain-cancer therapies. The results were published in 2006 in the British Journal of Pharmacology: THC treatment was associated with significantly reduced tumor cell proliferation in every test subject.

Around the same time, Harvard University scientists reported that THC slows tumor growth in common lung cancer and “significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.” What’s more, like a heat-seeking missile, THC selectively targets and destroys tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unscathed. Conventional chemotherapy drugs, by contrast, are highly toxic; they indiscriminately damage the brain and body. SOURCE

Further, there is a subtle demonizing of the euphoric effects of THC, headed by Dr Sanjay Gupta. This is unfounded and more reefer madness. Per Harvard’s Dr Lester Grinspoon:

As for getting high, I am not convinced that the therapeutic benefits of cannabis can always be separated from its psychoactive effects. For example, many patients with multiple sclerosis who use marijuana speak of “feeling better” as well as of the relief from muscle spasms and other symptoms. If cannabis contributes to this mood elevation, should patients be deprived of it?


CNN: Marijuana Is Illegal?


Danny Glover, Melissa Etheridge: Legalize marijuana

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(Source)  Well, the word “bud” is in Buddha. Today, organizers of Saturday’s first-ever Buddhafest held a press conference in which celebrities and other big names spoke in favor of Proposition 19, the November 2nd ballot measure to legalize marijuana. Continue reading

CNN: Marijuana martyr fights to legalize pot

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Ex-surgeon general: legalize marijuana

(Source)  Marijuana legalization has become a major election issue this year, and is on the ballot in South Dakota, Oregon, Arizona and, most notably, California.

CNN’s Don Lemon had on former U.S. surgeon general under Pres. Bill Clinton, Joycelyn Elders, and asked her a unique, very personal question: would you smoke weed if it was legal?

Elders was quoted in a New York Times story over the weekend, saying, “I think we consume far more dangerous drugs that are legal: cigarette smoking, nicotine and alcohol.” With Lemon, she said marijuana should be legal “for adults,” should be taxed and it should be “illegal to sell to children.”

Then this exchange happened:

Lemon: If it was legalized, would you do it?
Elders: Would I do…
Lemon: Would you smoke marijuana if it was legalized?
Elders: Well, I never smoked marijuana when it wasn’t legal. I don’t think – when you get my age you aren’t going to start something new so I don’t think I would smoke marijuana now.

It seems odd for a news anchor to ask a marijuana legalization advocate whether she, personally, would smoke it if it was legal (especially someone who is, you know, 77-years-old). But the issue itself has been a major topic on CNN this election cycle. “Marijuana” has been mentioned 114 times on CNN just in October, according to TV Eyes. FNC has mentioned it a lot as well, at 81 times, and there have been 64 mentions on MSNBC (but that includes the doc block shows also).

But the issue itself is less one of left vs. right as it is generational. In the same NYT story that quoted Elders, Adam Nagourney reports the Obama administration’s Justice Department, “intends to prosecute marijuana laws in California aggressively even if state voters approve an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot to legalize the drug.” If state’s do legalize marijuana, it will likely be because of younger generations and not necessarily overwhelming Democratic (or Libertarian-leaning conservative) support.

Big Pharma: 2+ lobbyists per lawmaker

Vodpod videos no longer available.This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast Oct. 22, 2009.

60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft Reports On Drug Lobbyists’ Role in Passing Bill That Keeps Drug Prices High

If you have ever wondered why the cost of prescription drugs in the United States are the highest in the world or why it’s illegal to import cheaper drugs from Canada or Mexico, you need look no further than the pharmaceutical lobby and its influence in Washington, D.C.

According to a report by the Center for Public Integrity, congressmen are outnumbered two to one by lobbyists for an industry that spends roughly $100 million a year in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses to protect its profits.

One reason those profits have exceeded Wall Street expectations is the Medicare prescription drug bill. It was passed more than three-and-a-half years ago, but as 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft reports, its effects are still reverberating through the halls of Congress, providing a window into how the lobby works.  (read more here.)

Drugmakers’ victories in Washington could keep health costs high, trade office warns

The pharmaceutical industry spent $110 million in just the first half of 2009 in its efforts to influence health care reform, part of a booming lobbying effort that now has 2.3 drug lobbyists on Capitol Hill for every member of Congress, a new investigative report reveals.

Writing in Time magazine, Karen Tumulty and Michael Scherer report that Big Pharma’s efforts to protect their interests in health care reform amounts to an expenditure of $609,000 per day, and “they’re getting a pretty good return on their investment,” Tumulty told CNN’s John King on Thursday.

“It’s not just the lobbyists,” Tumulty said. “The money goes into a lot of other things. It finances a lot of so-called research, expert reports, consultant reports. A lot of do-good organizations are springing up with names that sound like quite beneficial organizations, but you look at them and it turns out the whole thing is being run by drug companies.”

As evidence of drugmakers’ clout on the Hill, Tumulty pointed to a major victory for the group earlier this summer, when the House and Senate voted to extend patent protection of biotechnology drugs — biologics, as they are known — by an additional 12 years.

The move to grant them extra protection from generic drug makers was opposed by the Federal Trade Commission, which argued that extending patent protection could stifle innovation and keep drug costs high.

“These bio-tech drugs — they’re miracle drugs — are probably going to be something like half of all new drugs being approved,” Tumulty said. “And the big fight right now is whether there will ever be a generic equivalent for these drugs that cost $20,000, $40,000 or even $200,000 per year to administer.”

Tumulty noted that it’s practically impossible to trace all the money being spent in Washington to influence health care reform, because “it’s going not only into the campaign coffers of elected officials and salaries of lobbyists, but also into organizations that are essentially front groups for these interests, and into scientific-sounding consultant reports.”

Tumulty warned that the American public could be the “losers” in all of this.

“On some of these key questions you’ve got to say the lobbyists are getting pretty much everything they’re asking for,” she told CNN’s John Roberts. “And considering how important it is to bring down health care costs in the long run, I think the rest of us are the losers.”

(Source: Raw Story)

See Also: Six Lobbyists Per Lawmaker Work on Health Overhaul (Update2)


Oakland becomes first U.S. city to tax marijuana

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