Well, it didn’t take long.
Is Marijuana Good For You? by Kevin Sabet in The Fix.
He was clearly not happy, but basically, his response appears to be something along the lines of ‘Oh yeah? Well, it’s still probably not as good for you as breathing clean air.’ He even tried to double down on the tired old lung cancer bit:
(In case youâ€™re wondering, the evidence linking marijuana and lung cancer are mixed, with a recent study stating that â€œcannabis smoking increases the risk of developing a lung cancer independently of an eventual associated tobacco exposure.â€ Other studies have failed to find such a link.)
The study Kevin refers to is neither recent nor much of a study. Dr. Donald Tashkin, clearly one of the leading scientists in this field (if not the top) dismissed it out of hand:
Such scientific impreciseness doesn’t seem to bother Kevin Sabet, who promotes the extremely flawed small lung cancer study from New Zealand, while merely mentioning that “other studies failed to find such a link” instead of admitting that the largest study in the world, conducted in the U.S. and funded by NIDA conclusively found no cancer link and a slight inverse link.
Kevin Sabet is clearly no friend to science or medicine.
However, he found his own expert:
Mark Gold, perhaps the most distinguished professor in the country on drugs and the brain and body, told me, â€œIt is possible, but not proven, that cannabis smoke may be less toxic than cigarette smoke, but it is not better than clean air.
Ah, he got a distinguished professor to agree that clean air is good. Congratulations. And who is this Mark Gold, anyway? Where did Kevin find this expert?
Well, it turns out that Kevin has just gotten a job at University of Florida, and he tweets: “…Just appointed as Assistant Professor at their College of Medicine under the great Mark Gold. Staying in Cambridge, MA though.”
Bonus: Check out the nonsense from Bob DuPont in Sabet’s article.
@KevinSabet Why do you continue to promote the discredited NZ study on lung cancer and downplay the comprehensive U.S. study funded by NIDA?
Sabet tweets back:
@DrugWarRant I’m not promoting, I listed both sides and I’m sticking to the science. The jury is still out on it.
Let’s look at what he said again:
In case youâ€™re wondering, the evidence linking marijuana and lung cancer are mixed, with a recent study stating that â€œcannabis smoking increases the risk of developing a lung cancer independently of an eventual associated tobacco exposure.â€ Other studies have failed to find such a link.
He includes a quote from the discredited New Zealand study, but lumps the Tashkin/NIDA study in “other studies have failed to find such a link.”
How is the jury still out? What jury? Kevin’s jury? Comparing those two disparate studies as if they were merely “both sides” isn’t science.
Update 2: As Howard says, remember that these arguments have no impact on legalization. Legalization arguments are about the damage of prohibition.
As I noted in the original post about the lung study, even if marijuana was extremely damaging to the lungs, that wouldn’t justify prohibition.