United for Care's Ben Pollara to Debate Former Drug Czar Who Once Claimed Smoking Weed Leads to AIDS
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.
Photo by Philip Poston
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.