Grant Scott-Goforth's article in The Week in Weed (April 10) failed to mention the Tashkin study published in 2006 (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17035389). That study was a large-scale epidemiological study (instigated by the Bush administration) that was expected to prove that cannabis causes lung and other cancers. The problem was that it not only failed to show the connection but indicated just the opposite.
For long-term pot smokers, the adjusted odds ratio was 0.62 for lung cancer, 0.84 for laryngeal cancer, 0.57 for pharyngeal cancer and 0.53 for esophageal cancer. An odds ratio of 1.0 means the odds of getting cancer are the same as that for the non-pot-smoking control group.
Douglas George, Eureka
The Snake Oil article in this week's North Coast Journal seems misguided.
A few glaring problems exist between the lines of Scott-Goforth's story. It seems to peg those who have researched cannabis oil and used it as uneducated victims of Internet hoopla.
That site you mentioned is responsible for one man's quest to give away cannabis oil, help others make it for free and post numerous testimonials about what cannabis oil has done for people and their family members. The name of the website may be "dangerous" but I think there is a bigger story there.
When a growing number of cancer patients have been cured, and when the product is given away at little or no cost I find the term snake oil to be offensive and misleading at the very least, if not obtuse.
Besides that, multiple studies have been done outside the United States. Where is your research into those? They are pretty widespread and easily accessible.
Also, your statement that "38 percent of Americans have tried it ..." cannot even be construed as anecdotal. A large majority of that percentage have probably smoked marijuana for the psychoactive effect. Most of the cures bandied on the internet are concentrated, have no plant matter and are usually ingested.
Try talking to any of the cancer survivors who have not used any conventional therapies due to the progression of their illness except for marijuana and have been cured. Try talking to someone who has conducted research on this.
For progressive cancers, peer researched remedies are statistically barely survivable. My partner's father has stage four prostate cancer, too late for any traditional treatments, and before he started "snake oil" treatment his cancer spread to his head, bones and some soft tissues.
He's on the mend. We have hope. We all did our research and spoke to a slew of people, including his Canadian doctors. I hope you do some more and get back to us. Again, there is a bigger story waiting to be told.
Travis Turner, Arcata