(#22) U.S. Government
May 31, 2000
Title: Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew
Author: Raymond Cushing
Faculty Evaluator: Mary King M.D.
Student researchers: Jennifer Swift, Licia Marshall,
Corporate media coverage: AP and UPI news wires 2/29/00
The research was conducted by a medical team led by Dr.
Manuel Guzman of Complutence University in Madrid. In the
study, brains of 45 lab rats were injected with a cancer
cell, which produced tumors. On the twelfth day of the
experiment, 15 of the rats were injected with THC and 15
with Win-55, 212-2, a synthetic compound similar to THC. The
untreated rats died 12-18 days after the development of the
tumors. THC treated rats lived significantly longer than the
control group. Although three were unaffected by the THC,
nine lived 19-35 days, while tumors were completely
eradicated in three others. The rats treated with
Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.
In an e-mail interview for this story, the Madrid
researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had
never been able to locate literature on it. "I am aware of
the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted
many times to obtain the journal article on the original
investigation by theses people, but it has proven
impossible," Guzman said. His response wasn't surprising,
considering that in 1983 the Reagan/Bush administration
tried to persuade American universities and researchers to
destroy all 1966/76 cannabis research work, including
compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer. "We know that
large amounts of information have since disappeared," he
Guzman provided the title of the work--"Antineoplastic
Activity of Cannabinoids," an article in a 1975 Journal of
the National Cancer Institute--and author Raymond Cushing
obtained a copy at the UC Medical School Library in Davis,
California, and faxed it to Madrid. The 1975 article does
not mention breast cancer tumors, which were featured in the
only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study in
the local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974.
The headline read, "Cancer Curb Is Studied," and was
followed in part by, "The active chemical agent in marijuana
curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may
also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of
organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has
discovered. The researchers found that THC slowed the growth
of lung cancers, breast cancers, and a virus-induced
leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as
much as 36 percent."
Drug Enforcement Agency officials shut down the Virginia
study and all further cannabis research, according to Jack
Herer, who reports on these events in his book, The Emperor
Wears No Clothes. In 1976, President Gerald Ford put an end
to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive
research rights to major pharmaceutical companies. These
companies set out--unsuccessfully--to develop synthetic
forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits
without the "high."
Update by Raymond Cushing
When I was a cub reporter twenty-eight years ago at the
daily Advocate in Stamford, Connecticut, my first city
editor--a white-haired veteran of the International Herald
Tribune named Marian Campbell--told me that the cure for
cancer was the holy grail of all news stories.
"Unless they discover the cure for cancer," she would say
over the clackety-clack of the manual typewriters, "this
paper goes to press on time."
What I found out a quarter-century later is that not even
the cure for cancer is a big enough story to crack the
Berlin Wall of media censorship in this country. Toss in the
facts that the cure appears to be a benign substance that
has been illegal for 63 years, and that the government
knowingly suppressed evidence of its curative powers 25
years, and you get twice the storyŠand twice the censorship.
I won't name the "investigative journalists" who didn't
respond when I sent them this story. I won't list the
numerous "progressive" publications that ignored it. I won't
describe the forbidding sense of professional isolation I
endured in the months I tried to place the story.
Suffice it to say that it's what one would expect in a
society that has criminalized its own young for two
generations around the cannabis issue simply because we were
told to do so.
Thousands of innocent people who are in U.S. prisons for
possessing or selling "the cure for cancer" await liberation
and reparations. Someday our grandchildren will look back
and ask, "What did you do to set the cannabis prisoners
Here's what any responsible journalist should be doing:
Go to primary sources when evaluating cannabis research.
The AP and other news organizations love to elevate "bad
science" and suppress "good science" when it comes to
cannabis. You have to read the original research articles
yourself and make your own judgments.
Investigate and report on the war on children that is a
major component of the war on drugs. The marijuana laws are
the main tool the police use to persecute minors. No other
policy affects more families in more insidious and
devastating ways than cannabis prohibition.
Learn about the history of cannabis prohibition and about
the pharmaceutical, liquor, and tobacco giants that are
behind it. If you don't know the history of cannabis and
hemp prohibition, you're too ignorant to justifiably call
yourself a journalist.
If it turns out--as my story would seem to indicate--that
cannabis is the cure for cancer and the government
suppressed this information for 25 years (and continues to
suppress it), then the body count alone will make this the
biggest holocaust in recorded history. Virtually all federal
drug policy makers of both parties since 1975--including
legislators, presidents and the DEA--will be complicit and
That's why they don't want this story covered.
To learn the history of cannabis prohibition, read
To read my story, type in the address at the beginning of