Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Hiding the facts on marijuana

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A fascinating article by Kyle Daly in the Washington Independent describes the backroom politicking to keep favorable findings on marijuana buried and secret. The citizens of the US are not to be treated as adults, apparently. The article begins:

In March, The American Independent was first to report that the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), had acknowledged the medicinal benefits of marijuana in its online treatment database. Newly obtained documents showing the development of NCI’s summary over months of emails and text revisions now reveal not only how NCI database contributors arrived at their March 17 summary of marijuana’s medical uses, but also the politicking that went into quickly scrubbing that summary of information regarding the drug’s potential tumor-fighting effects.

Phil Mocek, a civil liberties activist affiliated with the Cannabis Defense Coalition, obtained the documents as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request he filed in March after reading The American Independent’s coverage of the NCI action. Mocek has made a portion of the hundreds of pages of at-times heated email exchanges and summary alterations available on MuckRock, a website devoted to FOIA requests and other government documents. The American Independent has obtained the remainder of the documents from Mocek.

As stated on NCI’s website, the treatment database is called the Physician Data Query (PDQ); the PDQ entry on marijuana (“cannabis and cannabinoids” are the terms NCI uses) is maintained by the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Editorial Board. The lead reviewer of the marijuana summary statement is CAM board member Donald Abrams, the director of Integrative Oncology at the University of California-San Francisco cancer center.

Abrams is an advocate of the use of marijuana in cancer treatment, and his desire to provide a complete picture of its medical application becomes clear early in the documents. As the CAM board discussed the upcoming PDQ entry back in December, board director Jeffrey White asked for Abrams’ approval in including controversial results of an African study that some have claimed links marijuana use to cancer. Abrams came back with: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

30 May 2011 at 3:01 pm

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