The comparison between tobacco and marijuana smoke is a fraud that
should have been exposed years ago. The simple fact that a marijuana
only case of cancer has never been found should set alarm bells
ringing among medical researchers. Unfortunately, drug warriors have
a mission to protect legal intoxicants such as alcohol and tobacco.
The references below are still valid. Publicizing this issue with the
careful distinction that marijuana does NOT contain ionizing
radiation will be a very positive step. Always mention that marijuana
is free of ionizing radiation.
POT vs TOBACCO
by R Givens
Tobacco Contains Ionizing Radiation
Prohibitionists scare people with comparisons between marijuana and
tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is bad, therefore all smoke is bad the
reasoning goes. If somebody suggested that burning PCBs (dioxin),
high sulphur coal, firewood, nuclear waste and natural gas all
produced the same combustion products and all were equally dangerous,
most people would demand proof before accepting such a ridiculous
claim. But make the claim that tobacco smoke and pot smoke are
equally bad and no one questions it. But what does science say.......
There is one very important difference between marijuana smoke and
tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke contains ionizing radiation and cannabis
smoke does not. The tobacco plant's roots and the sticky leaf surface
absorb radioactive polonium-210 and lead-210 isotopes which are
inhaled with tobacco smoke. A pack and a half a day smoker receives
a daily dose of radiation equal to what a person would have received
standing downwind from the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor during
the first 21 hours after the infamous accident. Pack and a half a day
smokers are exposed to the equivalent of over 300 hundred chest
x-rays every year from this ionizing radiation.
Radioactivity in tobacco may explain why smokers of low-tar and
low-nicotine cigarettes have the same lung cancer rate as smokers of
regular cigarettes. 50% of tobacco radiation is discharged into the
air which might explain why non-smokers married to heavy smokers may
have an increased risk of lung cancer. "Americans are exposed to far
more radiation from tobacco smoke than from any other source," says
Dr R T Ravenholt, former director of World health Surveys at the
Center for Disease Control.
It is extremely misleading to blame tobacco risks on "carcinogens"
without accounting for ionizing radiation. Some experts speculate
that combining ionizing radiation with carcinogenic substances
increases cancer risks a hundredfold. Vilma Hunt, who discovered
radioactive polonium 210 in tobacco in 1964, recalls the day her
study was released. It seemed that every chemist and physicist she
knew quit smoking. "They immediately understood the implication," she
recounts. "They said, 'If there's ionizing radiation in this stuff,
that's it. I'm finished'."
"Surprisingly, the US National Cancer Institute, with an annual
budget of $500 million, has no active grants for research on
radiation as a cause of lung cancer.
Tobacco smoking has been popular for centuries, but lung cancer rates
have only increased significantly after the 1930's. In 1930 the lung
cancer death rate for white US males was 3.8 per 100,000 people. By
1956 the rate had increased almost tenfold, to 31 per 100,000.
Between 1938 and 1960, the level of polonium 210 in American tobacco
tripled, commensurate with the increased use of chemical fertilizers.
Publicly available internal memos of tobacco giant Philip Morris
indicate that the tobacco corporation was well aware of radiation
contamination in 1974, and that they had means to remove polonium
from tobacco in 1980, by using ammonium phosphate as a fertilizer,
instead of calcium phosphate. One memo describes switching to
ammonium phosphate as a "valid but expensive point."
Attorney Amos Hausner, son of the prosecutor who sent Nazi Adolf
Eichmann to the gallows, is using these memos as evidence to fight
the biggest lawsuit in Israel's history, to make one Israeli and six
US tobacco companies pay up to $8 billion for allegedly poisoning
Israelis with radioactive cigarettes."
Marijuana plants do not absorb radioactive elements.
Where Are The Bodies
If marijuana caused lung cancer, prohibitionists would be giving body
counts on the six o'clock news instead of peddling scare stories. The
truly sad aspect of this fear mongering is that the authorities KNOW
marijuana is harmless. Back in the 1960s, the drug warriors got to
believing their own propaganda and authorized over 10,000 government
approved studies of marijuana between 1965-75. To their amazement and
disgust, report after report gave cannabis a clean bill of health.
Even worse from the drug crusader point of view, many studies
provided preliminary evidence that cannabis compounds are effective
in treating a wide range of diseases including cancer tumor
Anti-Cancer Compounds In Cannabis
Another reason to demand proof before accepting any assumptions about
marijuana causing cancer is the fact that cannabis contains several
very active anti-cancer compounds.
In 1976, Louis S. Harris, of the Medical College of Virginia,
reported that delta-9 THC increased cancer survival time by 36%
without the weight loss caused by most standard anti-tumor agents.
Delta-8 THC and cannabinol were also found to be quite active in
tumor suppression. No other chemotherapy agent differentiates between
tumor and normal cells the way cannabis compounds do. Like all other
studies showing medical potential for marijuana, Harris's funding was
The discovery of "cannabis receptors" in the human brain and other
parts of the body and naturally occurring THC compounds (anandamide)
in the body has ended most scientific speculation that the active
ingredients in marijuana cause any kind of health damage. Previous
assumptions about brain damage and other health injuries have been
rejected because it is now known that cannabis is metabolized without
any toxicity whatsoever. Marijuana is safer than public drinking