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Pubdate: Thu, 13 Jul 2000
Source: Western Gazette (UK)
Copyright: 2000 Western Gazette
Contact: mail@westgaz.co.uk
Address: The Western gazette, Sherbourne Rd,
Author: Nick Heath


A LOCAL cannabis expert refutes recent findings that the drug can promote cancerous
tumour growth.

Cannabis cookbook author Sam Day dismissed the study as irrelevant.

She said: "The study is invalid - it measures the effect of cannabis on mice not humans.

"Cannabis has been used by humans for recreational and medicinal purposes for more than
5,000 years, and there are no records of cannabis having such an effect."

Research claimed mice injected with the cannabis chemical tetrahydrocannabinol suffered
from significantly increased tumour growth compared to those injected with salt solution.

The findings have fuelled the contentious debate surrounding the effects of cannabis,
polarising public and expert opinion.

Sam Day is worried research may stifle growing support for cannabis as a medicinal
substance, depriving sufferers of illnesses like multiple sclerosis of a valuable painkiller.

"The main benefit of cannabis is the pain relief it can offer to arthritis sufferers by easing their
symptoms," she said.

Fran Hawkins, spokesman for the Community Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service, part of
the Dorset Communities NHS Trust, said: "I cannot comment on the individual study but our
policy is that we condemn the use of any illicit substance."

The results are a blow to the pro-cannabis lobby, following closely on the heels of research by
the Royal College earlier this year which delivered a stark warning that repeated use can lead
to psychotic and schizophrenic episodes.

Free rob Cannabis, manager of hemp retailer Glastonbury In Harmony With Nature, remains
to be convinced.

He said: "This is an example of bad science.

"We are not mice and the pure THC is a synthetic drug manufactured in the lab, not
representative of the effect of cannabis."
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