Click here to read the study's abstract for yourself, though you'll need a Pub Med subscription (or a friend in medical school) to access the entire document.
To find out more about the political implications of the study, check out the Chronicle's analysis.
There are studies that seem to show that." In other words, Medical News Today took researchers' findings regarding specific kinds of acute pain and extrapolated those findings to all kinds of pain - including chronic pain, for which - as Neugebauer confirms - studies have shown marijuana to be an effective treatment.
While it's always good to have more research on cannabinoids and pain, laypeople need to be careful when interpreting researchers' findings, which - given the scientific rhetoric in which most findings are couched - can be difficult.
Regulation: Harvard Economist Jeffrey Miron Releases "Costs Of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis" Sentencing Project: US "Drug War" Focus Has Shifted Toward Marijuana Enforcement, Away From Other Drugs Federal Report: US Prison, Jail Population Continues To Grow Marijuana Users In Treatment: Unspinning The News To Reveal The Research Lies, Damned Lies and Crime Statistics: Scandals Reveal Doctoring Of Crime Data By Police Feds Release 2003 National Survey On Drug Use And Health, Find Fewer Young People Admit To Use Of Drugs European Union Report: Ultra-High Potency Cannabis Assertion Is False Researchers Sue Over Federal Marijuana Research Policies Study: No Association Between Marijuana Use And Incidence Of Oral Cancer Study: Prenatal Drug Use, Home Environment Impact Children's Development Justice Dept.
Releases Prison & Jail Inmate Report; 2.1 Million Americans Behind Bars Canadian Medical Journal: Recent Police Crackdown On Drug Users Backfired Badly New Study On Marijuana Abuse & Dependence: Do The Numbers Add Up?
However, this study tells us little about marijuana's efficacy as an antidote to chronic pain.
Rather, it simply informs us that the drug does not relieve acute pain, something that few if any medical marijuana advocates have claimed.
However, the medical news outlet clearly misses Neugebauer's point.
Most notably for the drug policy reform movement, UNODC head Antonia Maria Costa's preface actually acknowledges anti-prohibitionist sentiments; provides a generally positive analysis of Portugal's decriminalization efforts; and, rather than approaching drug policy from a strictly punitive viewpoint, considers global drug laws in light of health-based, economic, and public safety concerns.
More peculiar surprises include Costa's comparision of drug legalization to the legalization of human trafficking and slavery and his strange ability to put together a cohesive report while simultaneously, as Drug Policy Alliance executive director Ethan Nadelmann put it to The Drug War Chronicle, "talk out of both sides of his mouth." Nadelmann elaborates, stating that "On the one hand [Costa] admits global drug prohibition is destabilizing governments, increasing violence, and destroying lives [...].
As Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, posted on the organization's blog on July 30, 2009, "For some 35 years the United States federal government has been well aware that cannabis possesses potent anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.
And for the past few years, government-funded researchers have speculated that these qualities have 'protective' effects against the onset of various types of cancer in humans, including lung cancer." However, until recently, Armantento writes, "virtually no investigators [had] taken the time to assess marijuana's potential anti-cancer effects in human -- until now." Armanento goes on to cite and post a "clinical abstract just published online on the Cancer Prevention Research website," which "report[s] that marijuana use, even long-term, is associated with a 'significantly reduced risk' of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma" - or, in layperson's terms, cancers.