Wow! Yet more bad news for young hot blunted American tokers this month. First they had to watch their newly acquired role model, gold-medaled Olympian Aqua-man Michael Phelps grovel and repent, after receiving a 3-month suspension and being renounced by his sponsors for threatening their wholesome image, and now well... Yech! No!! Why?!!!
The findings recently published February 9th in the online publication of Cancer, while on every oncologist's bookmarks bar, is unlikely to be found among Adult Swim and High Times on the average stoners' Favorites. Up until now the negative reported effects of hitting the Hydro indicated that it might lead to reduced testosterone production (being less of a douche bag) and poorer semen quality (a good argument to smoke more, why let the lady in the relationship take the sole responsibility for birth control).
However, according to the as yet unreplicated (joint rolling phalanges crossed) findings, men who smoked pot once a week or began using it frequently throughout their adolescence had double the risk for the onset of nonseminoma--the most rapidly spreading type of testicular cancer (it accounts for 40% of all cases). Now before you flush your primo Pineapple Express it should be noted that cancer of the testes is quite uncommon and accounts for a lowly 1 percent of all cancers among American males (light and inhale). It is, however, the most typical kind of cancer for American males ranging from 15 to 34 (COUGH! COUGH! EXHALE! STAMP ON IT! PRAY TO VISHNU AND/OR BUDDHA!!!).
Pretty scary stuff but I should mention that this study was determined by a Post-hoc analysis, more popularly known as data dredging, where scientists take pre-existing gathered data and look for patterns that were not being sought when said data was originally collected. Hmmm...me thinks I smell a possible THC scented rationalization coming. New Stoner Mantra (soberly learned in Mr. Kerman's 6th Grade science class): No causation in a correlation. No causation in a correlation. Come onnnnn no causation in a correlation!!!
Let's try to be logical here. It's probably best not to freak out and start drinking vast amounts of actual Green Tea, hoping the free radicals can retroactively work their anti-oxidant magic, or take part in bizarre 4-week colon cleanse, or (heaven forbid!) renounce the sticky icky. What's done is done. It does not serve our ailing economy to panic. The damage such unchecked hysteria could do to Judd Apatow ticket sales and Hostess Snack Cakes profits alone is too staggering to ponder.
Besides, according to Gary Schwartz an associate professor in both the departments of epidemiology and prevention and cancer biology at Wake Forest U (whom I picture with a perfectly picked Jew-Fro, vibrantly unbrushed bushy beard, clad in an unbuttoned wrinkled Hawaiian print shirt with prominently featured SpaghettiOs stain on the left lapel, beige cotton chino shorts and aged pair of turquoise flip-flops):
"The consensus is that most testicular cancer is thought to originate with lesions in utero, and that the peak age for testicular cancer to actually occur begins, really, right after adolescence," he noted. "That's when hormones released during puberty appear to promote [full-blown] cancer by essentially throwing fuel on the lesion fire, following a relatively long latency. The point being that you don't suddenly wake up one morning with a tumor. So it's a little hard to understand how exposure to marijuana beginning at that point could somehow play an immediate causal role."
THERE IS NO CAUSATION IN A CORRELATION! HALLELUJAH!!!
He also goes on to say "It could, however, also be that recreational drug use is simply a marker for affluence, since we know that testicular cancer is traditionally a disease that is more common among the affluent." Ahhhhhhh! So if your middle-class or poor and blazing up to numb yourself to the mediocrity of existence, or to blunt the reality of the myth of upward social mobility (AKA "The American Dream") in this modern economic depression, it seems you have a free pass for now. That is if you listen to Doctor #2. Dr. Feel Good.