Any time a new study comes out claiming this substance or that substance, whether it’s food, liquid or drug, is harmful or beneficial to one’s health, look on it with suspicion. Ask the question: Cui bono (“Who benefits?”). One such study comes from USC researchers, who claim to have “found a link between recreational marijuana use and an increased risk of developing subtypes of testicular cancer that tend to carry a somewhat worse prognosis.”
Who is funding the study at USC? The country’s national police lobby? The prison-industrial complex? The pharmaceutical industry? The alcohol and tobacco lobbies? Right-wing Christian forces who want everyone to have a miserable and boring Earthly existence? Is it any surprise that this study comes out just as the nation is seriously beginning to consider ending marijuana prohibition?
Keep in mind what former National Cancer Institute Director Samuel Broder said: “The NCI has become what amounts to a government pharmaceutical company.” And, as detailed in a Los Angeles Times article, Dr. Thomas J. Walsh, a former senior researcher at the National Cancer Institute, accepted fees from Pfizer and Merck, while leading clinical trials investigating Big Pharma drugs. Who is to say that this no longer happens?
The study was published online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Its findings “suggest that the potential cancer-causing effects of marijuana on testicular cells should be considered not only in personal decisions regarding recreational drug use, but also when marijuana and its derivatives are used for therapeutic purposes in young male patients.” According to the press release, the researchers found that men with a history of marijuana use “were twice as likely to have subtypes of testicular cancer called non-seminoma and mixed germ cell tumors.”
The researchers, however, do note that one of the reasons testicular cancer malignancy is “becoming more common is because of “exposure to unrecognized environmental causes.”
Yes, give that sentence a moment’s thought. It rather seems like the USC researchers don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about but say, “In the absence of any definitive truth, marijuana threatens your testicles.” What about chemicals polluting our air, land and water? What about genetically-modified and processed foods? The list of cancer-causing suspects goes on and on.
Even the researchers seemed a bit confused and unsure about marijuana’s effect on the testis.
“We do not know what marijuana triggers in the testis that may lead to carcinogenesis, although we speculate that it may be acting through the endocannabinoid system—the cellular network that responds to the active ingredient in marijuana—since this system has been shown to be important in the formation of sperm,” said Victoria Cortessis, MSPH, PhD, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles.
But here’s the twist to end all motherfuckin’ twists: the researchers also discovered that “men with a history of using cocaine had a reduced risk of both subtypes of testicular cancer.”
Rick James was right: Cocaine’s a hell of a drug. But until they definitely prove that marijuana wrecks your testis, keep smoking that weed, folks. Puff, puff, pass