Pubdate: Sat, 04 Aug 2001
Source: East Anglian Daily Times (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Eastern Counties Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Phillip Slattery


Sir, - Re Lauren James' letter (Opinions on cannabis show selfish attitude, 
EADT July 31), which asks:

Why not wait until we have the technology that can provide us with the 
definitive evidence that says cannabis will not harm us?'

In reply, could I point out that cannabis has been used for over 5,000 
years without a single reported death.

The USA has been spending billions of dollars each year for decades trying 
to prove how dangerous it is but, so far, has not been able to show that it 
is any more harm or addictive than coffee.

Lauren James goes on to write: "At the moment, I am reading every week some 
kind of report about cancer starting earlier in cannabis users, or memory 
loss due to cannabis?'

It is unfortunate that these reports are published before the editors of 
those journals bothered to check if they have any basis in fact. No, 
cannabis does not cause cancer - those studies were refuted on peer review.

Studies by the UCLA, The' Shaffer commission, the Kaiser-Permanente 
Insurance firm, and many others, showed that cannabis users either had less 
or the same amount of cancer non-user.

As for memory loss, the New Scientist magazine has published several 
articles debunking this myth.

Phillip Slattery, ( No, I don't smoke cannabis)
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