let it all collapse, the icon for the www.punkerslut.com website
Home Articles Critiques Books Video
About Graphics CopyLeft Links Music

Unanswered Letters on Marijuana and Cancer

Letters by Punkerslut,
directed to the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Image by NIDA, Altered by Punkerslut
Image: Satire by Punkerslut,
Original Available Here

Start Date: March 4, 2007
Finish Date: August 7, 2008

Letter #1

Date: Sunday, March 4, 2007
To: information@nida.nih.gov
Subject: The Marijuana InfoFacts


     I've spent a week of thoroughly researching NIDA's Marijuana Infofacts. Much of the research from the NIDA website is misquoted, misreferenced, or taken out of context. For example, they make the statement, "In laboratory experiments that exposed animal and human cells to THC or other marijuana ingredients, the normal disease-preventing reactions of many of the key types of immune cells were inhibited." and their citation is Adams IB, Martin BR: Cannabis: pharmacology and toxicology in animals and humans. Addiction 91(11):15851614, 1996. However, when I backtracked the original journal publication, I found out it actually stated, "Cannabis also has great therapeutic potential and has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes." The results of this report are counter to the published opinion of NIDA. If you would like to see a full review of NIDA's Marijuana facts, please see the following link...


     Naturally, no public health organization wants to publish misinformation about the health effects of drug abuse. If you doubt that NIDA's opinion on the health effects of Marijuana is founded on unsustainable footing, please see the above link. I appreciate it so much. Thank you, and I look forward to hearing a response.

Andy Carloff

Letter #2

Date: Sunday, August 7, 2008
To: information@nida.nih.gov
Subject: The Marijuana InfoFacts (second letter)


     Nearly two years ago, I had submitted a letter to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, indicating that the research you have published in the website is false, forged, or fabricated. I published an in-depth study that backtracked every resource you provided, discovering that virtually everyone was miscited, misquoted, or completely reworked. The study is available here:


     When I submitted this, there was no response at all. The alleged "facts" and "truth" is still available for download on the NIDA website. The most damaging, perhaps, of all the fallacies committed by NIDA, was the statement that Marijuana leads to lung cancer, when no such evidence at all was provided. In fact, in every single study with Marijuana and cancer, it is always demonstrated that the active ingredients of Marijuana provide the best cure for this disease. This was the case in this study: "Study finds no marijuana-lung cancer link," Reuters, quoted from CNN.com, Wednesday, May 24, 2006; Posted: 2:11 p.m. EDT (18:11 GMT).

     Only one and a half months after publishing my criticism of the National Institute of Drug Abuse and their position on Marijuana, Harvard University conducted their own studies on the subject. Use of Marijuana was found to cut the chances of lung cancer in half. The researchers stated, "Although the researchers do not know why THC inhibits tumor growth, they say the substance could be activating molecules that arrest the cell cycle. They speculate that THC may also interfere with angiogenesis and vascularization, which promotes cancer growth." This is from "Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows," ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2007), available online here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070417193338.htm .

     The time has come and passed when NIDA should have recanted its false claims, its misquoted texts, and its shotty research. You're still publishing and releasing material suggesting that Marijuana causes cancer. For instance, Marijuana: Facts For Teens, pages 9-10, updated on August 5, 2008, states, "Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day." This research was also used by the original Marijuana report I critiqued; the researcher quoted as a reference to this is D.P. Tashkin. His conclusions in "Pulmonary complications of smoked substance abuse," were that marijuana smoking can increase phlegm production, but that it's effect on the lungs are far less damaging and much more inconsistent than those of any other drug smoking. Tashkin didn't suggest that Marijuana causes cancer -- he actually suggested the opposite. In the above-referenced Reuters story, "Study finds no marijuana-lung cancer link," Tashkin was one of the researchers doing the study. To quote the article "He [Tashkin] theorized that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a chemical in marijuana smoke that produces its psychotropic effect, may encourage aging, damaged cells to die off before they become cancerous." What do you think is more academically dishonest? Publicizing the ideas of Tashkin that Marijuana can destroy cancerous and tumorous growths, or using his research to suggest that lung irritation to smoke means that Marijuana produces cancer? Clearly the latter.

     Because of your fabrication of research and your publishing of slanted and out-of-context material, you're having a shock wave effect on the world. When voters are faced with a candidate who has proposed Marijuana research or decriminalization, they are more likely to be antagonistic or opposed. The likely response to this is that legislators aren't going to promote bills for research into the drug; executives won't pardon scientists imprisoned for experimenting with the substance, and they'll certainly have even less sympathy for those growing and distributing it to patients in need. Given the breadth of your propaganda, physicians and doctors are less likely to suggest Marijuana is a medicine to a patient, patients will be more unaccepting of it. Those suffering from the miserable pains of cancer will multiply and multiply, and the closest thing to helping them is prohibited by law. Researchers are less likely to conduct studies using Marijuana as a treatment for cancer or other illnesses. The proliferation of NIDA's ideas, on the harmful and toxic effects of Marijuana, will likely produce great doubt in their mind as to whether it can be of any benefit at all; and these ambitious researchers of universities would always prefer to do a study that offers a favorable, scholarly result. And even if there should be those researchers who want to experiment, the DEA and its offices will be less likely to grant them the license to possess. The agents of the state will oppose the drug more thoroughly, whether it is the FDA prohibiting its consumption or use, or whether it is the lobbying groups deciding which research projects should get government funding. These reverberating effects throughout society are a cause of none other than the National Institute on Drug Abuse. You have been awarded a monopoly on the truth by the state, and under the pretense of your loyalty to the public interest, you are the greatest scientific influence on this subject -- you have become little more than a scientific inquisition.

     It is 2008, and I'm fairly certain that you will be stopped before you can lock up all of the Galileos. Hundreds of thousands of them already fill the prisons. The people have taken it for so long, losing their greatest inventors, artists, and musicians, that it cannot be long before their toleration for your lies and deceit has reached its limit. Etienne de la Boetie was a French philosopher, and one of his most memorable remarks is, "When the people lose their liberty through deceit, they are not so often betrayed by others as misled by themselves." (From the work: Slaves by Choice, 1548.) I've always been in full agreement with him on this idea, but I question it when I review the ideas, actions, and ultimately the authority-endowed effect of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Andy Carloff

Letter #3

Date: Thursday, October 9, 2008
To: information@nida.nih.gov
Subject: Marijuana and Cancer (Please Respond)


     I've been sending a series of correspondence with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and though I've yet to receive a single response, it does appear that these letters are being read. After a prolonged campaign of communicating with health organizations from various nations, and a series of essays, articles, and critiques, it seems that you have finally recanted your statement that Marijuana causes cancer. In your original article, "NIDA Infofacts: Marijuana," you had written the following statements: "Smoking marijuana possibly increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck. A study comparing 173 cancer patients and 176 healthy individuals produced evidence that marijuana smoking doubled or tripled the risk of these cancers10." The study that was originally quoted, by Zhang ZF, Morgenstern H, Spitz MR, et al., has been completely removed. In place of this, NIDA's piece now reads: "Marijuana smokers show dysregulated growth of epithelial cells in their lung tissue, which could lead to cancer;8 however, a recent case-controlled study found no positive associations between marijuana use and lung, upper respiratory, or upper digestive tract cancers.9 Thus, the link between marijuana smoking and these cancers remains unsubstantiated at this time."

     Ah, yes, how logical and insightful it is that a National Institute of Health is discussing and publicizing ideas of health that, after over fifty years of testing, still "remains unsubstantiated at this time." Not just any fifty years of testing, but fifty years according to the drug tzar, the master of all drugs, the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency. The only studies that were condoned by the DEA were ones that could have no other outcome but to demonstrate a relationship between marijuana and unhealthy behavior. When the first study demonstrated the effectiveness of Marijuana in destroying cancer in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia, the DEA immediately pulled their licensing for the drug. After half a century of allowing a scientific inquisition to decide the only studies that are legally allowed, the world that doesn't believe in censorship is at the same conclusion: every study that applies Marijuana directly to a tumorous or cancerous growth destroys the disease. But force, violence, and prison are still in use by the Drug Enforcement Agency in order to keep scientists behind bars and intellectuals imprisoned for decades. Even Timothy Leary was imprisoned for making his studies. But, all of this justification comes from one source: the theoretical foundation that drugs pose a harm to the human body, a theory that has yet to attract any type of legitimate evidence in terms of Marijuana. So when people are pushed down with their faces in the dirt, tightened handcuffs cutting off all blood pressure to their hands turning them white, and then kicked and beaten by police officers -- when this happens, they are doing it strictly, "Because, as our National Institutes on Health and Drug Abuse have told us for decades, drugs are dangerous." I've even heard a police officer tell me that Satan invented crack cocaine. Bunk science and religious mythology tend to go hand-in-hand.

     But it is not enough the users of cannabis are imprisoned and arrested. We must keep it from the hands of those who actually have cancer -- those millions filling up the wards of the hospitals on an already burdened health system. They must be killed, forced to their miserable death by an easily preventable disease, whose only cure has been completely prohibited for scientific study or personal use.

     I'm very pleased that you have removed some of your statements from the website indicating that Marijuana causes cancer, but that is far far far from enough. You are a scientific inquisition, a church that guarantees conformity of opinion and excommunicates those who take the path less traveled. With all of the power at your hands, you could change everything in a single moment. Release an immediate statement to the press, that all Marijuana needs to be legalized completely for all purposes: research, production, distribution, and consumption. Over twenty million are dead from cancer right now, and according to the studies, at least half of them could've been saved by legalizing the drug. I don't want to see it just legalized for research; there are too many dead and dying already, who might have their savior in that single substance. Advocate that it must be legalized for all means, for all methods, and that any prohibition on it has only produced bodies in the millions, has only massively deteriorated the quality of living for all Americans. Even in Portugal and Holland, heroin has been legalized with spectacular results, such as the AIDS infection rate being cut in half, while use incremented less than ten percent (source: "If Drugs Were Legal," BBC documentary). Heroin legalization is a brilliant concept, and something that has tremendously improved the conditions of life and work everywhere it has been applied -- but you are such philistines and traditional, that you shrink from advocating the complete legalization of Marijuana.

     Such tyranny at the hands of isolated control of "the one research agency to guarantee the peoples' health." This entire situation could be changed in no time at all. Write up a single, one-paged draft of the National Institute of Drug Abuse's prevailing statements on Marijuana. In this, advocate these premises, (a) research of Marijuana, whether it's health or social effects, must be given the attention of our universities, our academies, and our congress, (b) the complete legalization of Marijuana, for all purposes, personal and commercial, is the fastest and most efficient way to guarantee an improvement in the standard of living for all Americans -- it will cure their cancer, it will treat their post-traumatic stress and personality disorders, and it can relax them at the end of the day.

     This is all that it would take to change things; the power is within your hands to act for the improved health of all Americans, young and old. If you shrink from your responsibilities, then we as citizens of this nation, can remain fully satisfied in the argument that you are the harbinger of the sick and diseased, the grim reaper of scientific objectivity, and a menace to human liberty and happiness.

     Thank you. I'd appreciate a response.

Andy Carloff

join the punkerslut.com
mailing list!

copyleft notice and
responsibility disclaimer