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May 2005
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Why we must educate the press on the dangers of ‘Experts’

In this article: Addiction Worker Warns Abuse Is Deadly, Norma Medulun, Hotel Dieu Hospital’s director of addiction, autism and developmental services, delivers one of the most stupid statements I’ve heard from a prohibitionist in some time.

“Ongoing use of marijuana will lead to diseases of the lung such as you get with tobacco because of the high nicotine and THC,” said Medulun.

Can you believe it?

  • High nicotine in marijuana? (There is no nicotine in marijuana. Zero, nada, zip. There are roughly 315 compounds in marijuana, and none of them is nicotine. If you took all the marijuana in the world, and extracted all the nicotine and put it into an empty container, you’d have an empty container.)
  • THC causes lung disease? (Not possible. Even if the assumptions by some are right that prolonged smoking of marijuana can cause lung disease, which is still very much unproven, it would be the tars that would be the problem, not the THC.)

I’ve written a letter to the editor, and also to Kevin Vallier, the manager of public relations and development at the hospital (the hospital should be considering whether having a person like Norma Medulun on staff is good for their reputation — I know it would make me think twice about using their services — and she’s in charge of a program for assessing children).
Be polite if you write.

[A big thanks to Tim Meehan]

Update: Eric in comments informs me that it’s more like 483 compounds in marijuana. And still none of them are nicotine.

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