Nora Volkow, Director of NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) guest posts at the Drug Czar’s “blog”: Marijuana Research: The Facts
When we come to the topic of marijuana, it’s easy to be stirred by the heat of the debate between Gate-busters and Gate-keepers. This fight is fought almost entirely on the basis of personal and cultural beliefs, many times without knowledge of the scientific evidence about the acute and chronic effects of marijuana use on the human brain.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) mission is to gather this evidence objectively.
And then she goes on to tell us what’s wrong with marijuana.
So NIDA’s mission is to “gather evidence objectively.” Really?
Let’s go back to 2006.
A study had just discovered that “Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance” and part of its funding had come from NIDA.
Nora wasn’t all that keen on objective evidence gathering then, when she apologized for NIDA funding being used to find something good about illicit drugs.
Nora Volkow: “As the nationâ€™s preeminent drug abuse research organization, NIDAâ€™s mission is to support research and provide information on the addictive and adverse health consequences of drugs of abuse.
So which is it, Nora?
Is the mission of NIDA to “gather evidence objectively,” or to promote “adverse health consequences” of certain drugs? Quite a difference there.
Let’s look further.
On NIDA’s website, we have this statement by NIDA on marijuana and cancer:
Itâ€™s hard to know for sure whether marijuana use alone causes cancer, because many people who smoke marijuana also smoke cigarettes and use other drugs. But it is known that marijuana smoke contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day (15) .
Now that’s interesting. You know what’s really interesting about it? Not one word about the definitive 2006 study that was done on marijuana and cancer that was funded by NIDA â€” you know, the one that demonstrated conclusively that there was no additional risk of head, neck or lung cancers in even heavy marijuana smokers, and that, in fact, there was a slight reduction of risk.
So, NIDA’s so-called objective gathering of evidence actually involves footnoting an old 1988 NIDA-funded study, ignoring their own definitive 2006 study, and ominously implying a reality that is contrary to their own funded research.
Nora Volkow isn’t your friend. She’s also not a friend to science… or the truth.