United for Care's Ben Pollara to Debate Former Drug Czar Who Once Claimed Smoking Weed Leads to AIDS

Categories: Marijuana

Photo by Philip Poston
Of course, none of Turner's claims have been proven. Although some studies have linked lung cancer to people who smoke a lot of weed, the overall verdict remains unknown.

A study from UCLA showed that there was no link between lung cancer and light-to-moderate marijuana smokers.

And, more to the point, the study says that "THC has also been shown to have anti-cancerous behavior."

THC -- Tetrahydrocannabinol -- is the chemical that gives a person a high when he or she smokes marijuana.

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2006 says that THC inhibits tumor growth in the brain. Another study, this one published in the Journal Molecular Cancer, showed that THC reduced tumor growth in breast-cancer patients. Likewise, a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine said that THC had the same effects on lung cancer tumors.

Then there are the countless studies that show how medical marijuana eases pain and suffering in those with debilitating diseases.

Pollara is confident these types of studies at least extinguish some of the things Turner has been expounding as inarguable facts.

"Its always good to be in a position to debate someone who has no credibility when they say the things they've said," Pollara says. "It's good to debate people who have made themselves anachronistic drug warriors who have said ridiculous things in the past and stick to those things."

Meanwhile, Pollara and United for Care are also getting ready for their national Day of Compassion on Saturday, where hundreds of volunteers will be calling registered voters to get their support.

Even though their petition drive was a huge success, United for Care feels like there are even more people out there ready to support the legalization of medical marijuana.

"Our assumption going into Saturday's event is it takes a certain leap of faith to sign a petition," Pollara says. "We have a pretty good sense that sometimes, people get worried about sticking their names on a petition that calls for the legalization of marijuana. So we're trying to make sure we reach those people to get their commitment to vote in November."

The Day of Compassion campaign will be held at 14 locations throughout the state. Patients and volunteers will contact voters in their respective communities to educate them on the group's efforts.

The "Medical Marijuana: Is Florida Going to Pot?" debate at St. Petersburg College, which will be held in the Conference Center of the Seminole, starts at 6 p.m.

For information on attending the debate, call 727-394-6251.

Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.

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DonkeyHotay topcommenter

This BS amendment won't Legalize Marijuana in Florida ... not even close.

kevin_hunt topcommenter

During the 1978 Mexican marijuana paraquat scare, and while still a private citizen working for the state of Mississippi marijuana farm, Carlton Turner called High Times magazine to advertise a paraquat tester.

Unknown to Turner, High Times was not accepting ads for any paraquat testers because all evidence showed the testers didn’t work. High Times wanted to see a sample. When Turner delivered his prototype version of the paraquat test kit to High Times, it was a total “Rube Goldberg” type rip-off, “just like the dozen or so phony kits other companies tried to buy ad space for at this time,” wrote Latimer in an article published in 1984.

Turner apparently never thought High Times was ethical enough to check the contraption out. He assumed they would just take the ad money and run—print the ad and make Turner rich.

After this attempted mail fraud, this man became President Reagan’s national drug czar in 1981, recommended by George Bush and Nancy Reagan

Carlton Turner was forced to resign after Newsweek magazine excoriated him October 27, 1986, in a large editorial sidebar. His resignation was a foregone conclusion after being lampooned in the Washington Post for his conclusions (in public addresses) that marijuana smoking caused homosexuality.  


@DonkeyHotay  good for you. The BS this Pollara is spewing (and paid handsomely for doing so), is just that, BS. He's so far off base, he's in the outfield. He needs to get his facts straight. Dr. Turner NEVER stated pot causes aids and retractions were printed... he was misquoted repeatedly. The Washington Post set the record straight, as did others, but the pro marijuana coalition spins the news to their advantage to divert attention from the real issue, that being pot legalization in Florida is not good for the state or its people.


@kevin_hunt  Yeah, like I'd believe anything High Times published. Get your facts straight... it was NewsWeek that misquoted Dr. Turner on the pot causing aids debacle. 

You are quoting directly verbatim on an article (unsubstantiated) from High Times so it has no credibility. 

There was no forced resignation by Dr. Turner. Seven years in public service was enough and he moved on.

kevin_hunt topcommenter

@ccsmommy Did having sex with Carlton Turner cause YOUR case of AIDS?

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