Fox News Infected With "Reefer Madness"

Fox News is running an alarmist story today under the outrageous headline, “Marijuana Not Only Gets You High, It Damages Your DNA.”
The ‘news’ story, which several other mainstream media outlets are also promoting, is based on a new British study assessing the effects of, ahem, “calf thymus DNA treated in vitro (in a Petri dish) … with the smoke generated from 1, 5, and 10 cannabis cigarettes.”
Yes, really.
So how did Fox “We report, you decide” News summarize this non-story? Let’s take a look.

What Fox News reported: “Smoking marijuana not only gets you high, but it also alters your DNA.”

What the study actually said: “[T]hese results provide evidence for the DNA damaging potential of cannabis smoke, implying that the consumption of cannabis cigarettes may be detrimental to human health with the possibility to initiate cancer development.”

What Fox News reported: “There have been many studies on the toxicity of tobacco smoke,” researcher Rajinder Singh said in a news release. “Cannabis in contrast has not been so well studied.”

What Fox News didn’t report: From the March 2009 issue of the scientific journal Medicinal Research Reviews, “Research on the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids has reached enormous proportions. … [A]pproximately 15,000 articles on Cannabis sativa L. and cannabinoids and over 2,000 articles on endocannabinoids (are available in the scientific literature).”

What Fox News reported: “Singh said cannabis smoke contains 400 compounds including 60 cannabinoids. It also contains 50 percent more carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons including naphthalene, benzanthracene, and benzopyrene, than tobacco smoke, Singh added.”

What Fox News didn’t report: From the November 2007 issue of the scientific journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, “Vaporization of marijuana does not result in exposure to combustion gases, … and [was] preferred by most subjects compared to marijuana cigarettes. … The Volcano [vaporizer] device is an effective and apparently safe vehicle for THC delivery, and warrants further investigation in clinical trials of cannabis for medical purposes.”

What Fox News reported: “‘The smoking of 3-4 cannabis cigarettes a day is associated with the same degree of damage to bronchial mucus membranes as 20 or more tobacco cigarettes a day,’ the team wrote in the journal.”

Except for the fact that it isn’t. In fact, here’s what Donald Tashkin of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, had to say about the subject earlier this month in an interview with the McClatchy newspaper chain. (**Note: Dr. Tashkin has performed US-government sponsored studies of marijuana and lung function for over 30 years and is considered to be the United States’ — if not the world’s — foremost expert on the subject.)
“What we found instead was no association (between marijuana smoking and cancer) and even a suggestion of some protective (anti-cancer) effect. … Early on, when our research appeared as if there would be a negative impact on lung health, I was opposed to legalization because I thought it would lead to increased use and that would lead to increased health effects. But at this point, I’d be in favor of legalization (of marijuana). I wouldn’t encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don’t think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm.”
Just for the record, in 2006, Tashkin led the largest population case-control study (yes, Dr. Tashkin actually performed research on humans, not ‘calf thymus DNA’) ever to assess the use of marijuana and lung cancer risk. The study, which included more than 2,200 subjects (1,212 cases and 1,040 controls), reported that marijuana smoking was not positively associated with cancers of the lung or upper aerodigestive tracteven among individuals who reported smoking more than 22,000 joints during their lifetime.
Let the folks at Fox put that in their pipe and smoke it.

0 thoughts

  1. Sounds like a lot of B.S. (bad science) to me. I mean it’s like all FOX did was research marijuana smoking and picked out all the bad things it does without mentioning all the effects it has made for medicinal use.

  2. Stupid media… I am getting soooo tired of hearing the media focus completely on the smoking aspect. If you are so worried about the cancer causing agents in the smoke then just use a vaporizer or cook it into food.
    Vaporizing is superior to smoking anyway. That’s two completely doable options. The end.

  3. the story on fox news website was complementary of the associated press, and from what i read was targeted towards smoking it, not eating it or vaporizing it. all the fox news haters need to chilax and do a little research themselves before getting their panties in a twist. also please write your congressman and tell them to support the bill that is being sponsered by ron paul and barney frank…its time that we tell the federal government to back off and let the states decide how they want to treat marijuana laws.

  4. #152 Matt Says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 1:47 pm
    …just use a vaporizer or cook it into food.
    Vaporizing is superior to smoking anyway. That’s two completely doable options. The end…
    All we need now is…
    Food-Grade Cannabis…

    – The FDA and DEA are GUILTY of
    keeping such…UNavailable…
    This MUST end NOW!!!

  5. Fox News: A fair and balanced look at the right.
    Puh-lease. DNA? Really? Thats ALL you could think of? Next time, try this:
    “This just in- smoking marijuanna has been shown to make you a total loser. If you smoke marijuanna, you will be fat and bald by twenty. Oh, and also, bugs will grow to enormous size and eat your balls.”
    (Cuts to a shady looking guy wearing a labcoat.)
    “Yeah. It’s all true. We’ve done very scientifiky tests and sh*t. …Please give me money.
    It’s for orphans.
    I swear.”

  6. im fucking furious about that. not only did fox put that shit on tv, but all the fucking retards in america watching that saying “holy shit, it changes your DNA!!!!”
    also, out of all the people commenting on how mad they are about this, how many are actually doing anything about it?? visiting this website doesnt count, get the word out. LEGALIZE. REGULATE. EDUCATE.

  7. fox news should be called
    all fox up news,they are fing anal
    to say the least,don’t watch that channel
    nothing fair and balance about it.
    that atation needs alittle prozac,yes!!!!

  8. I thought republicans (fox news main base) were for personal responsibility and keeping government out of our lives and wallets. So they need to practice what they preach. Stay out of our lives and let us live our life as we see fit. It is time to end the madness now.

  9. Will everybody please keep it solidly in their minds, that We the People are now in the majority…in “our country.” Just check out the percentages. Who the hell gives a big rats ass what prohibs say. The majority knows how much shit the minority is full of.
    I am an Individualist. No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it. We the People are to carry ourselves in the presence of all opposition as if prohibs were titular and ephemeral. I am “ashamed” to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
    If every individual plant him or her self indomintbly
    on his or her instincts…and…there abide…the huge world will come round to him or her.

  10. TORTURE IN THE COUNTY JAIL is my story. An over-zealot detective forced me to take 12 times the amount of my sleeping medication. Has anyone reading this blog ever been deprived of sleep for 144 straight hours? I was severely beaten, innocent, O.D. for nearly a week. I was held in lock-down for the duration without even a shower or bathroom break for three straight days sometimes. It was Memorial Day weekend, the noise was like a stampede of elephants as I lay there under a constant bright light on the cold cement floor (they would threaten to ‘chain me to the grate’ in the floor if I didn’t shut-up.) If I had not made it out of that jail cell I know beyond a doubt that they would have blamed me for suicide (having come to jail in that critical of a condition.) A federal lawsuit was a charade of corruption and injustice. The $2.5 million Default Judgement was awarded to me but only $8,000 was offered as a settlement from the local police who are paid to ‘serve and protect.’ I did not want the money I was only seeking justice for all in the name of God Almighty, the Truth and Light. I am bi-polar; pot has helped me to survive. The hypocrites here in Utah need to realize that there are laws governing the division of church and state. My Father, my friends and siblings have always produced their own pot; farming is a basic human instinct in our genes given to us by God. No one will ever take that away from me again, as long as I do live, and I stand on my right to privacy to allow God to grow my seeds (if I can come across any.) I believe that Utah, being the second biggest grower in the U.S., possibly hides behind Mormonism when it comes to $6 million crops being found in our canyons and praries. I wonder where that many seeds always come from, probably the evidence lockers get swept out now and then. . . . u-m-m-m, go figure! It is now the time for the farms of America to swell with lush green fields of hemp, especially for industry and crucially needed jobs. I love Jim Stafford’s old song, WILD WOOD WEED. I am trying to get it back into circulation. Thanks for listening and truly I thank all of my fellow Americans for my vindication This ‘freedom of speech’ is awesome! See ya’ all in San Francisco in September.

  11. 161 Wendy from Good ‘ole Utah
    Wendy…yes!…we from California went 151 hours on a gambler’s holiday in Vegas “88. Yes! we saw spiders and snakes that weren’t there…and…we DID NOT tweak to get in those hours. The difference was…”151 was our choice.”
    You…and…the whole world should know that “SLEEP DEPRIVATION” is without question the worst form of torture. You literally burn up in your own skin. Fortunately…your creator (Heavenly Father) was in your corner. Let’s see how Heavenly Father treats those who steal the vengeance that is exclusively his or hers…not some dumb ass zealot that demonstrates to the world just how unholy we can be.

  12. P.S. In California…we are suing the hell out counties that don’t conform to state law. I guess you’ve heard by now…San Diego has seen the light…whether they like it or not. Now that’s how to get tough…and…”Take that with ya.”
    [Editor’s note: Indeed…NORML, et al sued San Diego and other counties in CA who would not recognize medical cannabis, and the US Supreme Court rejected their arguments earlier this spring.]

  13. Ya just can’t watch the news tube any longer. Its only purpose is to scare and intimidate the masses. It’s just like the one poster said above, they keep playing that “gotcha” thing over and over again.

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