For a brief time earlier this month, the National Cancer Institute, a branch of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, had posted a webpage touting the possible benefits of marijuana in fighting cancer tumors. But less than two weeks after it went up, the webpage was altered and the approving words stricken.
The webpage, added to Cancer.gov’s “alternative medicine” section this month, is still there, and still says marijuana has “potential benefits” for treating symptoms of cancer — a groundbreaking assertion for a government-affiliated organization.
But the updated page deletes this praise for marijuana’s ability to combat cancer.
“In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal cannabis not only for symptom management, but also for its possible direct anti-tumor effect,” the excised passage read.
The advice is now less supportive, and refers only to symptoms, not to cures: “Though no relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients who prescribe medicinal cannabis predominantly do so for symptom management.”
Full story: Feds’ praise for medical pot goes up in smoke