THE PROBLEM WITH STATISTICS
I don't think that I need to remind the reader, that due to the present-day legal status with regards to Medical Cannabis, that actual/physical statistics statistics on the subject are a bit fuzzy and hard to come by. And that's only the starting point, then there is out and out censorship of actual medical studies etc.
Thus I feel safe in saying that the reader will agree with us that most of the data gathering methods being used today are at best nothing more than technical estimates and in some cases (at least I feel) out-and-out guesstimates). And here I repeat, that this is AT BEST; as an example, take a look at this scientific wonder done in 1930:
"The role of . . [Medical Cannabis] . . as a crime instigator is suggested by the report of the public prosecutor in New Orleans who in 1930 found that of 450 prisoners he dealt with, 125 were marihuana addicts. Slightly less than half of the murderers, about twenty percent of the larceny men and about eighteen per cent of the robbery prisoners smoked what they called Merry Wonder. ---The American Mercury - Dec 1935Humm. . , so much for the wonders of mathematics, but here for the sake of brevity, I will deal with only one statistical factor. However, the reader should be aware that ALL statistics are subject to challenge. Also the reader should make a mental note of the methodology needed to tack down such statistics should she/he wish to verify them.
This figure is recognized by just about every Cancer society out there including the American Cancer Society. But where exactly did it come from? Technically speaking after long frustrating hours, calling one cancer group after another, the local rep for the American Cancer Society was able to tack down the origin of this statistic to the U.S. Federal Government, but couldn't tell me exactly which agency was responsible.
However, again after long frustrating hours on the phone (thank God for 800 numbers), the NCI (National Cancer Institute) pointed me to something (locally known here) as the SEER  project, and even gave me their phone number and address.
Anyway, to make a long story short, this is one of the groups (each region of the country is control by a different group), that travel to the county morgues and count bodies. This would imply that the statistics being generated had some validity, but after physically talking with them and actually visiting various morgues myself the situation (statistically speaking) started to turn somewhat ugly. Or at least somewhat gray. Look over Moses Baca's death certificate(s), and see if you can spot the problem:
Remembering that our figure is (in theory) is generated from counting county morgue death certificates. I for one must state that I have my doubts about their accuracy.
The basic problem is simple, licensed medical doctors (who fill out the paper work) have a tendency of keeping things short, too short and not putting down ALL the conditions that actually led to the death, only the actual (last minute) cause. Thus, many cancer deaths are written up as "Respiratory Failures," etc. Thus while the actual figure is tabulated from the death certificates themselves, a lot of guesswork gets put into it.
This (death certificate) policy of only jotting down the actually caused of death, leads (in the authors opinion) to severe under reporting of cancer cases.
Example; if a cancer patient has terminal cancer and due to extreme pain and suffering decides to make an appointment with Dr. Kaborkian. Again, the death certificate will not read, "cancer death."
In fact there's a joke that's been told to me at different morgues. The one about the Canadian citizen that "accidentally died of cancer while on vacation here in the U.S." Ha Ha, (and in case you didn't get it), just ask yourself, how many people "Accidentally die of cancer" "while on a vacation." Lets face it, she alone with thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of other cancer victims were here for medical treatment. But hers and other cancer deaths will not be counted in the statistics. But Why Not? I am of the opinion that if the subject is Medical Marihuana (or a medical lack thereof) shouldn't their deaths also be added to our statistical base?
Ok, OK, the tales of horror can go on and on. But the point that I'm trying to make is that the National Cancer Institute obviously can't make heads or tails out of the morgue data anymore than I could. So they are in effect, taking a guess as to what the cancer death statistics really are. That's right, the 25% cancer death statistic is nothing more than a well intentioned technical guesstimates - nothing more.
However, this is not the place to go into the subject it's enough to say that I believe that the actual figure is much higher. Need Proof? Just look at the obituaries of any Sunday newspaper and take note the percentage of Cancer deaths etc. See the number of them that read: "Ms so-and-so, Lost her brave fight against cancer . . . etc."
However, for the sake of argument, let us accept official estimate of 550,000 deaths  per year (after all, would our government lie to us).
- SEER (I hope I got the spell right) is an acronym for something, which is not important as the name changes from region to region, but in any case they are the people who go to the county morgues and count bodies.
- Note, I originally did the calculations about seven or so years ago, newer statistics have increased this value :
"U.S. cancer deaths increased by more than 5,000 in 2005 . . . the American Cancer Society said in a report issued today. The group counted 559,312 people who died from cancer. -- (AP) Feb 20, 2008 San Jose, Mercury News p4
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