One of Matt Baker’s “Advisers” Believes Smoking Pot Will Cause Testicular Cancer

And it gets better.

In an email obtained by the Raging Chicken Press, State Representative Matt Baker, the committee leader who wants to kill medical marijuana legislation, received an email by Sue Rusche from National Families in Action, Inc and then forwarded those emails to parents advocating for medical marijuana.  Instead of using medical marijuana to treat epilepsy, the reports that Sue Rusche forwarded to Representative Baker advocates for the pharmaceutical alternatives, Sativex and Epidioex.  One of the documents compares medical marijuana alternatives to opiates and pain killers.

The paper states:

The Opium Example

Heroin comes from the opium plant. Medicines have been developed from the opium plant but we don’t call them “medical heroin.” We call them morphine, Demerol®, Percocet® and other names. These medicines have been approved as safe and effective by FDA to treat moderate to severe pain. Doctors prescribe them and pharmacies sell them. They did not have to be legalized. Heroin is not medical.

The Cannabis Example

Marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. Medicines have been developed from the cannabis plant but we don’t call them “medical marijuana.” We call them Marinol® and Cesamet®. These medicines have been approved as safe and effective by FDA to treat nausea and wasting in cancer and AIDS patients. Doctors prescribe them and pharmacies sell them. They did not have to be legalized. Marijuana is not medical

Pretty simple, eh?

As promised, it gets better.

For the past few years Sue Rusche has written numerous blogs linking marijuana use to testicular cancer.  In one instance, Rusche writes:

Neuroscientists from Wake Forest University and Duke University medical schools explained why it is crucial to prevent young people from using pot. “Adolescence is a critical period of brain development,” said Wake Forest’s David Friedman, Ph.D., “and marijuana use has profound effects on brain development. Chronic use impairs short-term memory, attention, executive function, decision-making, learning, and in vulnerable individuals can produce psychosis, including schizophrenia,” he added. “Duke’s Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, Ph.D., cited a number of recent studies reporting that adults who start smoking pot before age 18 are significantly more likely to have cognitive problems (including a drop in IQ), anxiety and psychotic disorders, and testicular cancer.”

According to the National Families In Action website, Sue Rusche was a co-author with David Freidman, who is mentioned above.  Sue Rusche has a second project called “But What About the Children Campaign” and Rochelle Schwartz-Bloom, the doctor who claims smoking pot will give you testicular cancer, is listed as an adviser to that campaign.

There can be some truth to this claim, but a 2009 CNN article looked into an earlier study that claimed smoking marijuana causes testicular cancer.  There are two forms of testicular cancer, seminomas (60 percent of cases) and nonseminomas (40 percent of cases), and marijuana smokers were 2.3 times as likely to contract nonseminomas.  Fear not, the article states that scientists believe “that most cases of testicular cancer actually get their start in early fetal life,” and was with any type of cancer, you are more likely to contract this rare form of cancer through family history and any previous battles with the disease.

 

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About Sean Kitchen 595 Articles
Assistant Editor of the Raging Chicken Press and living in Harrisburg pursuing journalistic opportunities. You can send tips to SeanKitchen@RagingChickenPress.org and reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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5 Comments on One of Matt Baker’s “Advisers” Believes Smoking Pot Will Cause Testicular Cancer

  1. Our website posted videos of what Drs. Friedman and Schwartz-Bloom said in their presentations at our workshop. You might want to watch them to learn what these scientists said and get the full story.

  2. Sativex and Epidioex are derived specifically from cannabis, and were made in the UK were the DEA has not jurisdiction to stop the research.

  3. Before being criminalized for profit, racism and empire building, cannabis was widely prescribed in the US. It wasn’t called ‘medical cannabis’ just cannabis. The reason Harry Anslinger used the slang term ‘Marihuana’ in the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act was to fly under the radar of the medical community who had been prescribing cannabis for almost 100 years without any of the terrifying results claimed by cannabis opponents. It appears as though Matt Bakers problem with cannabis is that the pharmaceutical companies don’t make enough profit from this plant. It can’t be public safety as prohibition causes crime and violence and cannabis is non-toxic to humans.
    Another point is the MTA of 1937 also made hemp illegal. Since you can’t get high from hemp what was the reason that this plant was made illegal? Profit and empire building. The corporate barons who owned paper, oil and chemical companies couldn’t compete with their products compared to hemp. This was unacceptable and the corporate interests bought and paid for our government to lie and prohibit this plant and the lies only continue today

  4. Is he worried about a girl like Charlotte Figi getting testicular cancer?

    If one small primary study is enough to convince him of harm, then one should be enough to convince him of benefit:

    This study found that 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck cancers with a relative risk of 0.38.

    “Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma”
    Liang C et al. A population-based case-control study of marijuana use and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009.

    Even if true, I would take the 2 times increased risk of a rare cancer if it means 3 times reduced risk of much more common, and tougher to treat cancers.

    Despite decades of research in thousands of studies that were designed to find negative effects of cannabis (this is due to policies of the federal organizations involved in approving a very large portion of the studies, the NIDA, DEA, and FDA), it has not been proven to cause serious disease. The cannabis / cancer connection is very weak, with many peer-reviewed studies showing protective effects. Overall there appears to be no increase in cancer risk from using cannabis:

    “The purpose of this retrospective cohort study was to examine the relationship of marijuana use to cancer incidence. The study population consisted of 64,855 examinees …We conclude that, in this relatively young study cohort, marijuana use and cancer were not associated in overall analyses…”
    Sidney S et al. Marijuana use and cancer incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes Control. 1997.

    “Cannabis smoke may be carcinogenic but it has been difficult to conclusively link cannabis use and cancer development epidemiologically, and cannabinoids have shown some promise as anti-cancer therapies”
    Bowles et al. The intersection between cannabis and cancer in the United States. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2012. Review.

    A study involving over 65,000 people found that cannabis use is not associated with greater mortality in general:

    “Marijuana use in a prepaid health care-based study cohort had little effect on non-AIDS mortality in men and on total mortality in women.”
    Sidney et al. Marijuana use and mortality. Am J Public Health. 1997.

  5. Is he worried about a girl like Charlotte Figi getting testicular cancer?

    If one small primary study is enough to convince him of harm, then one should be enough to convince him of benefit:

    This study found that 10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck cancers with a relative risk of 0.38.

    “Our study suggests that moderate marijuana use is associated with reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma”
    Liang C et al. A population-based case-control study of marijuana use and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2009.

    Even if true, I would take the 2 times increased risk of a rare cancer if it means 3 times reduced risk of much more common, and tougher to treat cancers.

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