By Jack Herer
The average lifespan in the United States is 76 for a man and 78 for a woman. But if you smoke pot morning, noon and night, you will live an average of two years longer than if you don’t. People who smoke pot but don’t smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol will live approximately 8 to 24 years longer than those who do smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. This was proven in studies done by Dr. Vera Ruben on Rastafarians in Jamaica from 1968 to 1974.
The Rastafarians lived up in the hills and were the poorest people in Jamaica. Everyone expected them to have the shortest lives but instead they had the longest lives. They smoked pot morning, noon and night. This study cost $6,000,000.00 and was an extremely comprehensive study. If the same study was done today it would cost approximately $125,000,000.00.
In 1979 and 1980, the National Institute of Science did studies on Rastafarians in Costa Rica that proved the same results. There were only 100 copies of this study released to researchers who were working for the government. The only reason we have the results of this study is because someone managed to leak a copy to NORML in 1981.
Between 1968 and 1975, there were about 10,000 marijuana studies done all over the world, but mostly in American universities and colleges. Approximately 4,000 of the studies were universal health studies. Almost all of them proved marijuana to be beneficial in every way. The few that were unfavorable were never proven by a second study.
In 1974 and 1975, Dr. Donald Tashkin did research to prove marijuana was harmful to the lungs.
He was the head of pulmonary research on marijuana at UCLA Hospital. He predicted that more people would develop lung cancer from smoking marijuana than from smoking tobacco. Dr. Tashkin was 100 percent positive that all of the studies about marijuana would come out negative in his lung research. He had the only study in the whole country from 1975 to 1999. After 1975 there was no more funding for positive marijuana studies of any type by the U.S. Government for any reason whatsoever. Only a negative study could get funding from the U.S. Government and Dr. Tashkin had almost all of it. I came out against Dr. Tashkin in 1979.
In 1981, I was approached by Dr. Tashkin to take part in his study. I was protesting the marijuana laws on the front lawn of the Federal Building, 500 yards away from the UCLA Hospital and University on Wilshire Boulevard. I signed up (along with about 50 other pot protesters) for Dr. Tashkin’s study because all of the UCLA students refused to participate in his study after Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981. Dr. Tashkin saw us pot protesters every day at the Federal Building for 102 days. We weren’t college students and we smoked pot morning, noon and night.
Once or twice a year I would have interviews with Dr. Tashkin. I told him about the positive effects of marijuana. We disagreed 100 percent and he was sure I was wrong. This was a long term study. I was paid $80.00 to $90.00 for each test from 1981 to the mid 1990s. Once or twice a year I would go smoke marijuana to get the pulmonary lung studies done and I would interview Dr. Tashkin as part of my research for my book, “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”. I told Dr. Tashkin from 1981 to 1997 that no one gets lung cancer or any other type of cancer from marijuana because Dr. Vera Ruben and Dr. Todd Mikuriya had already each separately proven it. I had been doing research for my book since the early 1970s.
Now Dr. Tashkin has come out and is saying the same things I said to him 25 years ago. There is no link between marijuana and lung cancer or any other type of cancer. In fact, Dr. Tashkin has found that marijuana, by killing off old cells that could become cancerous, can actually prevent cancer.
If you want to live longer, smoke more pot.
Jack Herer July 4, 2006