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March 18, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-03-18

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Shady studies




BIRTH DEFECTS, impotence,
lung damage, brain dam-
age, and lowered resistance to
disease have recently been cited
as potential hazards to mari-
juana smokers. However, these
charges are backed by studies
obtained under questionable cir-
cumstances. Major data has
been overlooked or ignored to
an extent which indicates that
an attempt is being made to
construct a case against mari-
juana, based on prejudice and

founded on hazy and disputable
Upon detailing the studies, one
finds that seemingly crucial evi-
dence has been, entirely omit-
ted. Two major studies o f t e n
cited as proof for the risk of
brain damage to marijuana
smokers both lack the basic pre-
condition for objective assess-
ment. The Campbell study,
which utilized human subjects,
made no effort to check on its
subjects' prior medical nistory;
had the subjects all had re-


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rate increases

Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

..:G}:. The Lighter Cide::j e.........
Can stiff warnings
stop avid smokers?
;}"g:.J,;?t: ..wMm a ;L Dick West Emma"{
WASHINGTON (UPI) - Despite health warnings on the pack-
ages, cigarette sales continue to increase. So now the Federal
Trade Commission is thinking about making the anti-smoking
message stronger.
I doubt that will work either. The tobacco habit is so deeply
ingrained in our society that sales probably would continue brisk
even with skull-and-crossbones on the packs.
This sounds more like a problem for a top flight safety expert,
such as Dr. Timothy Upbuckle.
"Funny you should mention that," Upbuckle said when I broach-
ed him about the matter. "Even now, I am working on a cigar-
ette warning that will be far more effective than any message
currently contemplated by the FTC."
"Pray tell me more," I urged.
"Glad to. What I am doing is installing a sensory device in
the top of the pack. When you tear off a corner to open the
pack, a warning light flashes on the front cover."
"Gee, that's really ellective," I said. -There is no way
a smoker can overlook that type of warning. How long does the
light stay on?"
"FOREVER," Upbuckle cried triumphantly. "That's the beau-
ty of it. The only way you can turn off the warning light is to
reseal the package. As long as the pack remains open, the smoker
cannot avoid calling attention to himself wherever he goes.
"We feel that making him conspicious will be a much greater
deterrent than a printed health warning."
"No doubt about it," I said. "But suppose a smoker is hooked
enough to go around with his warning light. What then?"
"Then we'll get him with the buzzer," Upbuckle chortled.
"The pack will have a warning buzzer that goes off when
a cigarette is removed. It is activated by a sensor tha. responds
to a decrease in pressure on the bottom of the pack."
I said, "I'm almost afraid to ask, but how do you turn off the
"You can't turn it off," Upbuckle was beginning to sound a bit
fiendish. "The only way the buzzer can be deactivated is by
replacing the cigarette that was removed. And that ain't all.
"Each time the smoker removes another cigarette, the buzzing
gets louder. By the time he emptied the pack, you could hear
it in the next county."
I SAID, "Congratulations. Is there any way the system can be
adapted to other types of safety campaigns?"
"You bet," Upbuckle assured me. "The next step is a light-
buzzer warning that is activated when you forget to wash behind
your ears."
Dick West is a syndicated columnist for United Press Interna-

cords of brain damage, the re-
searchers would never have
known it. Further, each of the
persons. studies had used LSD,
several had used amphetamines,
barbiturates, heroin and/or
THE SECOND brain damage
study was on rhesus monkeys;
the dosage of marijuana given
to the monkeys was equivalent
to smoking 100 cigarettes a day,
a figure which far exceeds the
level even a heavy smoixer
might attain. Yet this dosage
was not mentioned in the re-
port. Such an omission is cer-
tainly no mistake. When a
study purports to prove a claim,
all relevant data must be re-
ported. Otherwise, the study be-
comes useless.
The failure to check for prior
brain damage in the Campbell
study was also a blatant attempt
to misconstrue evidence. One
cannot proceed to do a study
on brain damage without f~rst
ascertaining that the people in
question have no prior history
of brain damage. Further, in
such a case, one cannot claim
that marijuana was the cause
of any evident brain damage;
it is always possible that tne
subject bumped his head years
before the study.
THE STUDY on birth detects
which allegedly result from
marijuana use illustrates ano-
ther basic flaw in research pro-
cedure. The study's con.-lusions
are based on facts gleaned from
only three patients. Can sash
far-reaching and important gen-
eralizations be based on only
three patients? Not likely. Yet,
on the basis of this particular
study, it has been concluded
that more marijuanacsmokers
than non-smokers have fewer
than the normal 46 chromo-
somes. This information is tak-
en from a lymphocyte check.
Lymphocytes are manufactured
by the body to resist invading
bacterial organisms, a id, as
such, constitute the body's maj-
or defense weapon against dis-
ease. A study comparing 956
lymphocytes from marijuana
smokers to 954 from non-smok-
ers claims to have found a 20
per cent discrepancy be'ween
smokers and non-smokers. The
discrepancy is due to a defe ;t
in DNA manufacture. This de-
fect (attributed to marijuana)
allegedly increases the likeli-
hood of hereditary diseases and
birth defects.
THIS STUDY also failed to
determine whether or not the
subjects' prior medical history
yielded any evidence of possible
chromosome damage.
The cases which fault mari-
juana for lung damage, lowered
resistance to disease, and im-
potence are also ultimately in-

conclusive in that they all pre-
sent questions concerning t h e
objectivity of the researchers
pursuing the studies. Recently,
while testifying before a Senate
subcommittee, a doc-or who is
himself conducting 'ests on
marijuana claimed that biases
against the weed often charac-
terize studies. Unfortunately, as
a result of this lack .f objec-
tivity much potentially usefu;l
information must be discounted.
To date, the most effective
and probably the most concIus-
ive research on long range ef-
fects of marijuana was con-
ducted in Jamaica in 1970. The
Jamaica Study was a very com-
prehensive and extensive study,
striving to encompass all pos-
sible points of controversy sur-
rounding pot. To a large extent,
it succeeded.
THE SUBJECTS for the study
were chosen carefully and divi-
ded into non-smokers and smok-
er categories. They were then
paired on the basis of ap)roxi-
mate height, weight, age, and
socioeconomic status. They were
experienced marijuana smok-
ers; having smoked for an aver-
age of 17 years. Further, they
had not smoked marijuana but
ganja, a stronger and more po-
tent form of the drug.
The results of the study were
very thorough, and, in short,
no demonstrable ill effects were
found. The most sensitive tests
revealedtno significant differ-
ences between smokers and non-
smokers. This conclusion was
based on brain wave scans as
well as over fifteen psychologi-
cal tests. In addition, a check of
employment records revealed no
significant differences in t h e

smokers' ability to hold a job.
Though this study was com-
pleted nearly three years ago,
it is only now being released,
and one has to wonder why. Is
the public being deliberately
misled? As stated before, t h e
,Jamaica study would appear to
be the most significant and com-
prehensive test on the long-
range effects of marijuana
smoking. Its results appear to
make other tests superfluous.
But why has it taken three
years for this research to come
out? Are there people grasping
for evidence to keep marijuana
these findings cannot be answer-
ed. Yet the pattern of evidence
seems to be clear. As soon as
new evidence concerning one of
marijuana's potential hazards
arises, suspicions as to its valid-
ity also surface. After a while,
any evidence is discounted, and
everyone believes what he wants
to believe, regardless of re-
search results.
At present, citizens are left
with almost no reliable guide as
to the possible harmful/bene-
ficial effects of smoking mari-
juana. We are in a situation
where solid, useful information
is almost impossible to obtain.
What is needed are more studies
which survey a wide enough
sampling, which take all pos-
sible factors into account, and
which present the results in an
objective manner. Until then,
smokers will have nothing to be
guided by but their own inclin-
Clifford Brown is a member
of the Editorial Page staff.

Tuesday, March 18, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
Carers no disappointment

gan basketball p 1 a y e r s and
coaches, who completed another suc-
cessful season last Saturday night by
nearly upsetting Pacific-Eight confer-
ence champion UCLA in the first
round of the NCAA tournament.
In the end, the Wolverines proved
that hard work, hustle and unselfish-
ness can produce a total greater than
the sum of the individual parts. Dis-
playing an exciting team-oriented
style of play on both offense and de-
fense, Michigan won nineteen games
this season, lost only eight, and fin-
ish second in the Big Ten to unde-
feated Indiana.
ers leave the team for personal
reasons before the season began, in-
cluding an All-American. Neverthe-
less, the remaining players molded
themselves into a unit effective
enough to win seven of its eight non-
conference games. The Wolverines got
off to a bad start in the Big Ten sea-
son, but rebounded from the slump
with admirable poise and confi-
dence to close the regular season with
an identical 7-1 streak. And last Sat-
News: Glen Allerhand, Barb Cornell,
Stephen Hersh, Cheryl Pilate, Nora
Porherantz, Bill Turque
Editorial Page: Alan Gitles, Paul Has-
kins, Debra Hurwitz, Jeff Sorenson
Arts Page: George Lobsenz
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

urday they impressed basketball fans
across the country by coming within
one shot of beating the team that
most call the second best in the na-
Though the team as a whole was
most impressive, certain individuals
should not be. overlooked for their su-
perior contributions. Starting for-
wards Wayman Britt and John Robin-
son showed that quickness a n d
strength can overcome height limita-
tions on the basketball court, and
guard Steve Grote demonstrated how
desire and hustle can augment al-
ready considerable skills.
DAVID BAXTER, Rick White, Joel
Thompson, Don Johnston, Lloyd
Schinnerer, Howard Comstock, and
Tim Kuzma played well in their
roles as reserves-a prerequisite for
any winning team.
But if any two players could be
called the key to Michigan's success
this year, they are senior co-captains
Joe Johnson and C. J. Kupec. Kupec
played center and led the team in
scoring and rebounding, and John-
son's tight defense and sharp passing
were indispensible.
But more important than any sta-
tistics was the pair's leadership on
and off the court. The only two sen-
iors on the team, Kupec and Johnson
were steadying influences on the gen-
erally young squad. They played their
last game Saturday and deserve both
thanks and congratulations for their
play the last three years.


To The Daily:
SINCE THE Daily has seen fit
to spread my name, albeit in-
correctly, as the perpetrator of
some sort of insidious protest
against "Ann Arbor's finest," I
am taking the opportunity to re-
view the entire matter in t h e
first person.
The following, I hope, will
elucidate some of the points that
the Daily's coverage either fail-
ed to mention, or mentioned in
a way that conflicts with my
perception of the events:
1. My inquiry (cf. the Daily's
word "complaint"), made no
claim whatsoever about w h o
brought the bat, or for what
purpose. The report which I fil-
ed with the police stated, in
vague terms, that I claimed
I had seen a policeman, whom
I believed to be a member of
the Ann Arbor police, carrying
what appeared to be a "base-
ball bat with metal studs." In
addition, I stated, I would like
to discover, if possible, h o w
this officer came into possession
of this bat.
2. Regarding Krasny's "an-
grily" declared statement, to
the effect that I was a liar, I
would like to state that this was
not made "in response to (sic)
my complaint." Rather, this was
Krasny's somewhat defensive
reaction to my blunt comment
that, having followed news re-
ports of previous police-student
encounters over the last f e w
years, I personally found it hard
to believe that Ann Arbor police
would hesitate to use such a
weapon against student demon-
A fitting comment on this mat-
ter is that I happened to hear
the officer who was in posses-
sion of the bat innocently ask
one of his fellow peace-keepers
which group was the Jews and
which was the Arabs. It was this
blatant ignorance that prompted
me to inciire as to how ob-

with the Daily's extremely un-
professional behavior ii quoting
an individual who would use a
ludicrous phrase like "Arab-
looking," in this case where
emotions are already at a point
where they threaten to disrupt
the campus more than has al-
ready been done.
The University's action in
granting this diploma to Katzir
was, frankly, one which I per-
sonally regretted. What I re-
gret even more, however, is
that the newspaper which most
students rely upon for news of
campus happenings is not more
responsible in its ,ove:age in
regard to coverage and the po-
tential damage tonindividuals in
cases like my own.
-J. G. Greenman
Teaching Fellow in
Department of Near
East Studies
March 17
To The Daily:
IT IS SELDOM that I am
spurred on to write a response
to anything, but your column
in Friday's Daily does just that
to me. Never have I encounter-
ed such rude, unmannerly,
aggressive drivers, in general,
as in Ann Arbor. I used to think
Chicago was bad. Ann Arbor is
infinitely worse. Perhaps it's
the "anybody who's anybody
drives a car" mentality, 'oster-
ed by the Detroit auto industry.
However, I have never come
so close to being hit so many
times when' I was in the right
(rally) than here in Ann Arbor.
For instance, cars are contin-
ually puling out in front of me
from driveways, gas stations,
etc. I realize this is within their
rights, and I watch for them,
but do they have to make it so
close? Couldn't they wait the
minute that it would take mp to
walk on by, on the sidewalk?
Worse yet is trying to cross Di-
vision Street on the north side
of Packard. It is actually safer


sion, and then cross the street,
safely. Oh, and let us not forget
the corner of Jefferson and
Thompson (the corner where the
Administration building 1').
That's right, the corner where
there's that 4-way stop sign,
which cars seem to interpret as
"slow down to about 5-10 mph,
look briefly in either direction,
and then forge ahead hoping
that no-one's in the way.
I realize that "flesh is softer
than metal, wheels are faster
than feet." That's why I'm so
careful dealing with traffic in
Ann Arbor. But it doesn't mean
I don't resent it.
And I realize that there are
some (many, I think you'd say)
bad pedestrians. I'm not trying
to exonerate them. I just think
you ought to be aware of the
other side of the coin. It seems
that often, as soon as a person
steps into a motor vehicle, he
stops being a person, and is
only an extension of the vehicle.
Drivers ought to realize they re
people too.
Finally, I resent your caval-
ier attitude toward life. Sure,
there are a lot of people I do not
like, that I feel an immense
contempt for. But does that
mean they ought to die? Would
you really delight in running
down a few? I find your at-
titude disgusting. And your
-Vicky Slater
March 14
To The Daily:
THE DAILY and President
Fleming, in camouflaging t h e
interruption by "Palestinians
and their suporters" of the cere-
monies conferring an honorary
degree to the president of the
Zionist state as a subversion of
free speech at the University,
would deliberately blind us to
the fact that this is not a mat-
ter of academic freedom f ex-
pression or of an honorary aca-
demic degree. This was no "rd-
inary speech by a Zionist, where


out our participation or consert.
That this is no ordinary issue
of the freedom of exoressic-i is
evidenced by the fact that this
University often has Zionist
speakers whose presentations
have not been disrupsed. The
Daily, as wvell as President
Flemingswould have us believe
that they can set up the rules
and define the issues involved
and that we must then march
to their tune. No amount of
free speech doubletaik ("r of
black-robed figures can cover
up the basic fact that conferring
honors on political figures "no
matter how disgusting" is the
University's practice. It is the
University's business to pros ete
and spread the values and ideas
of the system which it serves-
in this case the imperiaiist,
monopoly-capitalist system. The
University officials, by this act,
aim to help shore up the Zion-
ist image recently battered in
the eyes of the peopls of the
IF THE University officials
were truly attempting to reflect
the progressive aspi afvins of
the people and not tie :eactlc.n-
ary nature of the systen that it
serves, then it would have used
its facilities to exoc.e t h e
treachery of the colonialistet-
tler state of Israel and its reie
of protecting U.S. interests in
the Middle East. It would be ed-
ucating the people to the plight
of the millions of Palestinians
who have been forcioly uproot-
ed frm their homeland and forc-
ed to live in the squalid refugee
camps. It would be educating
the people to the absolute neces-
sity of the Palestinians' taking
the road of revolution to regain
their homeland and build a so-
ciety where Jews, Christians and
Muslims could live in peace
and equality before the law.

President Fleming only ex-
poses his own role as an agent
of the monopoly-capitalist class
when he describes the 'demon-
strators' action as "a complete
disgrace . to the University,"
while describing Kat~zir as "a
speaker of such deep human-
ism." To honor Katzir, as an
alumnus of the undergromd
Haganah and as present figure-
head of the colonial venture
which systematically dispersed
the Palestinian people and con-
tinues to deny them their most
basic human rights of national
self-determination and of the
United Nations-recognized right
to return to their nomes and
nation, is the Universi~v's dis-
grace. If anyone was to he
thrown out of a University
building, it should hav.: been
this interloper, both in Pales-
tine and on campus, and not
University students.
THE DAILY displaos its myo-
pic vision in telling us that it is
"the Palestinians" wno inter-
ruoted Kat7ir. Present at "he
interruption" were no only Pal-
estinians, but other Arabs and
other Third World. and mrogres-
sive people. The Middle East
Liberation Committee is a coal-
ition of Arabs and Americans,
both Third World and white, all
of whom were protesting this
political act of honoring what
this man represents - the col-
onial, imperial, racist experi-
ment which has left the peooles
of the world degraded and rap-
ed for the benefit of United
States corporate profit and Leon-
ist dreams of empire. Mote-
over, the Committee stands in
solid support of the Palestinian
liberation movement and its as-
pirations for a democratic, se-
cular Palestine.
-Middle East Liberation
March 16


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