Garrick Abt: Misguided on pot smoke | SummitDaily.com
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Garrick Abt: Misguided on pot smoke

Garrick Abt
Dillon

Dear Ms. James, In response to your letter, I have a few comments on the issues and information you bring to the table. First of all, as for children being exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke, I should hope that a pot user will have the common sense to not smoke near children, as is the hope with all forms of smoking.

In addition, while you are correct that there are more carcinogens in marijuana smoke than in cigarettes, take for example the words of Donald Tashkin, M.D., UCLA, as presented at the American Thoracic Society 102nd International Conference in 2006: “We know that there are as many or more carcinogens and co-carcinogens in marijuana smoke as in cigarettes, but we did not find any evidence for an increase in cancer risk for even heavy marijuana smoking.” This is because of the proposed anti-tumor properties of the THC found in marijuana smoke. It is even suggested that marijuana smoke may be mildly protective against lung cancer (Salynn Boyles, foxnews.com).

Compare this evidence to alcohol, which, according to Jurgen Rehm at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in 2003, “is the fifth largest cause of death and morbidity in terms of global burden of disease.” Let me quickly add that alcohol is legal, while marijuana is illegal. According to the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 12 percent of men and 2.2 percent of women in North America suffer from alcohol related diseases or die prematurely due to consumption (Schieszer, J., nutramed.com/alcohol/alcoholism).

Finally, if you believe that the responsible use of alcohol has less of an intoxicating effect than the responsible use of marijuana, then you have obviously never used marijuana. Your research is slightly shorthanded, and your opinions, though respectable, are misguided.


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