1 Timothy 4:1 doctrines of devils;

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World Health Organization Suppresses Important Report

Marijuana Is Safer Than Alcohol!


19 Febuary 1998

The February 18 edition of Britain's NEW SCIENTIST Magazine reports that the Geneva-based World Health organization (WHO) suppressed, under political pressure, a report which confirmed that marijuana is safer than either alcohol or tobacco. The report, which was to be a part of the WHO's summary report on Cannabis (released in December), was reportedly axed under pressure from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drugs Control Program, who told the WHO that inclusion of the section would "play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalize marijuana."

According to New Scientist (to which a copy of the suppressed report was leaked) the official explanation of the exclusion of the report was that "the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons are doubtful." But New Scientist also reports that insiders informed them that the report was scientifically sound.

Kevin Zeese, President of Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation, told The Week Online, "Just business as usual for the drug war establishment. Once again they have shown themselves to be afraid of the truth, to the point of suppressing it. The suppression of information as a method of sustaining a policy which cannot stand up to the truth is a tactic of totalitarian, non-democratic regimes. For the citizens of the free nations of the world, even for those who have never given a thought to the rationale behind the Drug War, this kind of tactic should serve as a warning that something is terribly wrong."

Courtesy http://drcnet.org





Author: Sebastien Berger

A STUDY showing that cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco has been suppressed by United Nations health officials, it is reported today. According to the New Scientist magazine, the analysis concluded that cannabis does less harm to public health than alcohol or cigarettes and would do so even if it were consumed in similar quantities to the legal drugs.

The comparison, written by marijuana experts, was due to appear last December in the World Health Organisation's first report on the effects of cannabis for 15 years. It was withdrawn at the last minute after a furious dispute involving WHO officials, the report writers and external advisers. Sources quoted in the magazine claim that the WHO gave way to political pressure, with American drugs officials and advisers from the UN Drug Control Programme saying that the document would be seized upon by organisations campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis. "In the eyes of some, any such comparison is tantamount to an argument for marijuana legislation," said one of the report's authors. Another said that WHO officials "went nuts" when they saw the draft version. A leaked version of the report says the comparison was made "to minimise the double standards that have operated in appraising the health effects of cannabis".

On most points, cannabis was considered less harmful to health than alcohol, with the illegal drug playing little role in injuries caused by violence, unlike alcohol. Evidence that cannabis could harm the development of babies in the womb was considered "far from conclusive", while the grounds for alcohol doing so were "good". A WHO official said that the comparison was excluded because "the reliability and public health significance of such comparisons is doubtful". 4 January 1998: MPs to press for inquiry into cannabis 19 November 1997: BMA in cannabis prescription plea 19 September 1997: Straw attacks call to make cannabis legal 18 June 1997: Cannabis does no harm says Stoppard.


Copyright 1998 Nando.net; Copyright 1998 Reuters News Service

LONDON (February 18, 1998 10:01 p.m. EST )

Officials at the World Health Organization in Geneva suppressed a report that confirmed cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco, New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday. The WHO's summary report on cannabis, its first in 15 years, was published in December but the magazine claims a comparison study of cannabis and legal substances was dropped because the organization feared it would give ammunition to the "legalize marijuana" campaign. "

It is understood that advisers from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the U.N. International Drug Control Program warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalize marijuana," the weekly science magazine said. Dr Maristela Monteiro, a scientist with the WHO program on substance abuse, confirmed that the analysis was dropped from the report but denied the organization had been pressured into doing it. "There were problems with that chapter," she told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"It was not a fair comparison from our point of view and from a public health perspective it was not very useful. We thought it was biased towards showing less harm from cannabis." Monteiro said the WHO was working with the Addiction Research Foundation (ARF) in Canada and planned to publish a book on cannabis in June. According to New Scientist, which published a special report on marijuana on Wednesday, a leaked document about the analysis concluded that marijuana posed less of a public health threat than alcohol or cigarettes, even if people consumed the drug on the same scale as the other substances. It also showed that while there was evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome, proof that cannabis can harm fetal development was "far from conclusive." The magazine said researchers had found that marijuana smoke did not lead to blocked airways or emphysema or impact on lung function, and it was less addictive than alcohol or cigarettes. A survey conducted by the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where marijuana has been legalized since 1976, found that there was no immediate increase in use after it was decriminalized. Although most people questioned in the survey had tried marijuana they did not continue to use it. The number of hard drug addicts in the Netherlands has not increased in a decade, the magazine added.

Note: The report of the WHO findings at New Scientist magazine disappeared in just a few short hours since this morning when I checked the link to their site.


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