Pubdate: Tue, 22 Mar 2011
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2011 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck, co-founder Madison chapter, National Organization
for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)


As a long-time medical cannabis patient/advocate, I question comments
made by Dr. Michael Fiore, the UW Center for Tobacco Research and
Intervention director, quoted in Friday's article about Ben Masel. Dr.
Fiore stated "In terms of marijuana and lung cancer the jury is still
out, but the answer is that it is probably a cause of lung cancer."

Dr. Fiore's should know the "jury" came back in 2005 and found
cannabis innocent. UCLA medical school professor Dr. Donald Tashkin
began searching for a cancer link to cannabis smoking in the 1970s.
Tashkin's studies identified carcinogens in cannabis smoke. In 2002,
the National Institute of Drug Abuse gave Dr. Tashkin a grant to
pursue further research.

In 2005, Dr. Tashkin reported the results: increased cannabis use did
not result in higher rates of lung and throat cancer. Tashkin also
found the more tobacco smokers consumed, the greater the risk of
developing cancers. Those tobacco smokers who also smoked cannabis
were at slightly lower risk of getting lung cancer than tobacco-only

Dr. Tashkin's results were ignored by the media, so it's
understandable the public may be unaware of them. However, as an
expert, Dr. Fiore should be aware, and the State Journal owes it to
readers to present the other side.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.