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Researcher Calls Claim Of Over 10,000 Studies Documenting The Harmful Effects Of Marijuana Groundless

NORML News, June 1996

University Of Mississippi Denies Assertion Of California Narcotics Officers.

Researcher Calls Claim Of Over 10,000 Studies Documenting The Harmful Effects Of Marijuana Groundless

June 16, 1996, University of Mississippi - A recent claim made by The California Narcotics Officers Association (CNOA) that there are over 10,000 studies documenting the harmfulness of marijuana has been flatly denied by University of Mississippi Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. For the past 25 years, the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been collecting national and international technical research papers on marijuana. The organization is regarded as the most comprehensive federal source of such information available.

The CNOA allegation recently appeared in a position paper denouncing the use of marijuana as a medicine and has been espoused by various other prohibitionist organizations. However, in response to an inquiry by Harvard Professor and NORML board member Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Research Associate Beverly Urbanek said that the University of Mississippi "is totally in the dark as to where the statement that there are 10,000 studies showing the negative impact of marijuana could have originated." Urbanek attests that the Research Institute does possess a bibliography which includes over 12,000 citations to marijuana, but notes that the total number also includes "papers on the chemistry and botany of the Cannabis plant, cultivation, epidemiological surveys, legal aspects, eradication studies, detection, storage, economic aspects and a whole spectrum of others that do not mention positive or negative effects."

In conclusion, Urbanek states the following: "We are frequently contacted by various individuals and groups requesting the current number of publications that we have listed in the marijuana bibliography, and we readily give out that information. ... However, we have never broken down that figure into positive/negative papers, and I would not even venture a guess as to what that number would be."

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