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December 2010
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Gateway Rehabilitation’s Nicole Kurash shows how to reach youth

Lie to them.

At least, that appears to be the case from reading her comments in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Nicole Kurash, clinical manager of youth programs at Gateway Rehabilitation Center, which treats up to 500 teens across Southwest Pennsylvania each year, said she had noticed changing attitudes toward marijuana, especially among parents.

“I would definitely say the attitude is much more relaxed than a decade ago,” she said. “We see a number of kids whose parents smoke marijuana. We see parents who say, ‘I don’t mind if they smoke it, but I don’t want them to do anything else.’ ”

While teens seem well aware that tobacco causes cancer, Kurash said, they appear not to realize that marijuana use also has been linked to cancer.

“We hear kids saying, ‘It’s natural. It comes from the ground. It can’t be bad,’ ” she said.

The attitude shift that Kurash noticed was reflected in the survey, which showed a decrease in teens who saw marijuana as carrying “great risk” or who disapproved of using it regularly.

Maybe the teens are better educated than Gateway Rehabilitation Center’s Clinical Manager of Inpatient Youth Programs, with her Master’s Degree and Clinical Inpatient Addictions Counselor certification. They’re either better educated than Nicole Kurash, or better educated than she’d like them to be.

They might have actually read about the largest study done on the subject of marijuana and cancer, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse

The largest study of its kind has unexpectedly concluded that smoking marijuana, even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer.

The new findings “were against our expectations,” said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pulmonologist who has studied marijuana for 30 years.

“We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use,” he said. “What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

Maybe Nicole Kurash isn’t lying. Maybe an addictions counselor somehow doesn’t know about the largest study in the world, one that took place four years ago, was funded by the federal government, and widely reported in the press, including health publications and the Washington Post.

Right.

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22 comments to Gateway Rehabilitation’s Nicole Kurash shows how to reach youth

  • Bob Joy

    So she is mad that teens are starting to be educated according to the truth because their evil parents inform them of the truth? IDK what is more absurd the lies or the desire to continue to perpetuate the lies. Fill me in here right if Cannabis causes lung cancer where are the stats or the data which point to this? Show me the lungs, the tumor growth, show me! They can’t because their entire drug war is built on lies, racism, stupidity, moral obligation to absurd religious ideals.

    —> Cannabinoids inhibit tumour growth in laboratory animals. They do so by modulating key cell-signalling pathways, thereby inducing direct growth arrest and death of tumour cells, as well as by inhibiting tumour angiogenesis and metastasis.

    But keep lying to your children if that makes you feel any better.

  • strayan

    Comments are off.

    Typical.

  • claygooding

    When you are pushing a lie,the last thing you want is for anyone to be able to rebuke your argument. It has been that way since day one,all pro sites and article’s are open for discussion,seldom do the prohibs stick their heads up and allow any point of view or facts that disagree
    or disprove “thier facts”.

  • kaptinemo

    So, let the person who wrote the article know that you know what Ms. degrees-out-the-whazoo Kurash (supposedly) doesn’t:

    acrawford@tribweb.com

    Perfect chance to stir the pot and get Ms. Kurash splashed a little with her own scheisse.

  • More lies...

    strayan
    December 15, 2010 at 1:00 am
    Comments are off.

    Typical.
    Imagine that

    Once again lying to keep thier paychecks rolling in , even if it means hurting someone else. Cannabis also opens your mind so that you question the BS being shoved your way.

    Im so sick of watching this country fall into this lie trap. From the top government offices to the lowly treatment places like this…all built on lies. What a house of cards.

  • primus

    The founding fathers saw the press as a functional check on the politicians. The lies being spread unquestioningly by that press proves they have no further place in the scheme of things. The press is no longer relevant.

  • Hold on, folks. The perpetrator in this particular case is Nicole Kurash, not the press. This is one of the better articles I’ve read on this news, including all the big ones like the Los Angeles Times. This reporter quoted Mike Meno with MPP, a defense attorney with NORML, got someone to point out that students have to get alcohol from an adult while marijuana is easier to get, etc. She also didn’t print the Drug Czar’s ridiculous claim that talking about medical marijuana is to blame.

    This is a well-written article by Amy Crawford, deserving of respect. She might have questioned Kurash further about the cancer claim, but that was something that Kurash should have known.

  • darkcycle

    The ‘Cancer Lie’ is just part of the fabric of falsehoods that perpetuate cannabis prohibition. As long as there is some portion of the population who hasn’t heard of the Tashkin study, and believes that smoke in general (as opposed to tobacco smoke in particular) causes cancer, they will keep selling that one. Doesn’t have to be true, just has to be believed.
    Leaving it to us to make sure the good information gets out, and knowing we don’t have the megaphone of the press to work for us. Same old, same old. Well when the truth becomes generally known, and it gets out that cannabis may cure cancer (see this excellent movie, show it to your friends, http://www.lenrichmondfilms.com )rather than cause it, people will be screaming for the prohib’s heads on a stick. And the truth is getting out.

  • tintguy

    Fairly decent article, but why does most of it seem pro and then it ends with a lame “why it’s bad for the kids” statement? Is that a requirement to get published these days?

    • You’re right, tintguy. Perhaps I just have developed extremely low standards for the press. I’m ecstatic when an article about drug policy doesn’t completely suck.

  • NorCalNative

    I was just reading about this research yesterday in the 2008 issue of O’Shaugnessy’s.

    Dr. Theodor Sarafian who worked with Tashkin on this UCLA study was asked how to explain the results.

    “It’s most likely the anti-inflammatory effects of THC and CBD.” In addition Sarafian said, “Funding becomes much tougher to get when we show there isn’t as much harm.

  • darkcycle

    Naw Pete, they set those low standards for themselves. We’ve got to be careful not to fall into the low expectations trap, or they’ve got no pressure to elevate them (the standards, that is).

  • Duncan20903

    Goddammit if there is a health hazard it’s attached to the act of smoking, not cannabis itself. Unlike tobacco which is simply poison to humans over long periods of time.

    Are there harmful chemicals in smokeless tobacco?

    Yes. There is no safe form of tobacco. At least 28 chemicals in smokeless tobacco have been found to cause cancer (1). The most harmful chemicals in smokeless tobacco are tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which are formed during the growing, curing, fermenting, and aging of tobacco. The level of tobacco-specific nitrosamines varies by product. Scientists have found that the nitrosamine level is directly related to the risk of cancer.

    In addition to a variety of nitrosamines, other cancer-causing substances in smokeless tobacco include polonium–210 (a radioactive element found in tobacco fertilizer) and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (also known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

    Does smokeless tobacco cause cancer?

    Yes. Smokeless tobacco causes oral cancer, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

    Does smokeless tobacco cause other diseases?

    Yes. Using smokeless tobacco may also cause heart disease, gum disease, and oral lesions other than cancer, such as leukoplakia (precancerous white patches in the mouth).

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/smokeless

    I recognize that Dr. Tashkin’s work shows that there is no increased incidence of cancer in pot smokers, but I still maintain that it is very likely (in my humble, uneducated opinion) that those people would have had an even lower incidence of cancer had they not chosen to smoke cannabis as a delivery method.

  • darkcycle

    Perhaps you’re right Duncan. So far the jury is out. All that can be said with confidence is that the incidence of cancers for cannabis SMOKERS (he tested SMOKERS, not vaporizers, or oral admin people)is the same or lower than the general population. The statistics can’t be massaged to say anything different. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that that is something we can confidently say we don’t know. Perhaps if there were more research…..
    Anyway, see my link above and watch the movie…it’s got great ammunition and endless quotes to pilfer.

  • kaptinemo

    A point of clarity.

    Lest anyone get the wrong idea, I had suggested writing to the author of the article to inform her of the things that Ms. Kurlash did not appear to know…or deliberately misrepresented.

    I was not asking people to flame on Ms. Crawford.

  • warren

    This Kurash is looking out for job security- period. If mj use could be substituted for alcohol use there would be zero death zero withdrawal death. Is this person that stupid. No. Money hungry. yes.

  • kaptinemo

    Tintguy, I have long suspected but cannot yet prove that there exists a ‘playbook’ regrading the handling of cannabis-related issues that requires media types to automatically be condescending of it.

    This may in fact be a ‘legacy’ of the infamous attempt (exposed by pioneering Web journalist Dan Forbes) by the ONDCP to influence the mainstream media by having MSM entertainment outlets insert ONDCP approved anti-drugs propaganda in their programming in exchange for favorable advertising discounts.

    Which is why we are once again, (after a noticeable lull during the Prop 19 campaign) being treated to what I call the ‘titter factor’. You know, articles that begin with ‘Pot enthusiasts hopes go up in smoke!” and other demeaning phrases meant to belittle the idea of relegalization.

    IMHO, such directives exist, and have for a long time, at largely at the behest of the ‘anti-drug’ bureaucracies. Why else engage in such easily identified behavior?

  • Tim

    Which is why we are once again, (after a noticeable lull during the Prop 19 campaign) being treated to what I call the ‘titter factor’.

    Kapt, you’re spot on. In Canadian government parliance we are called “high-risk stakeholders” and I have seen some of these strategy documents. (None shown to me through official sources, mind you.) Of course, most of it was stuff we gamed out about 5 years ago…

  • Tim

    Another point to consider. I watched a few episodes of the first season of Weeds and it seems bleah, but others that keep watching tell me that the gangster storylines have increased from year to year.

    Would be interesting to see what Dan Forbes thinks of that show… who is writing the most recent seasons?

  • darkcycle

    Weeds Creator, Jenji Kohan is not a pot user (at least openly, anyway), and that show did what they all do, it found a formula (gangsters and attempted extortion.) And they have unswervingly used that formula, more and more, ever since. The first season was casting about to find a theme that worked, but it came together in the second season, at the same time their ratings began to soar. Ever since then it’s been the same themes, again and again. While the protagonist’s character and judgement has been punished in order to find excuses to GET her into those situations again and again. So in this case I really don’t think it’s deliberate.
    So yeah, like all Hollywood creations, it sacrificed what authenticity it originally had for sensationalism and popularity.

  • larrythelugnut

    As a libertarian social worker who has worked in addictions, I’ll bet she probably does not know about that study. Addictions counselors are often the last to know anything about drugs, other than their personal stories of abuse. Those professionals often have to have cursory knowledge of drugs equivalent to the glossing-over given in your Psych 101 course in college.

    Precious few addictions counselors approach the field from a psych/social work/academic mindset. Instead, their approach is moral (and not even the right morals). This is the ignorance and mindset I have to correct on a daily basis and it’s incredibly annoying. Shit is not all good or all bad!

  • Nicole Kurash, clinical manager of youth programs at Gateway Rehabilitation Center, The perpetrator in this particular case is Nicole Kurash, not the press. Once again lying to keep their paychecks rolling in , even if it means hurting someone else.