Smoking marijuana does not appear to increase the risk of lung cancer or head-and-neck malignancies, even among heavy users, researchers reported here.
“We expected that we would find that a history of heavy marijuana use, more than 500 to 1,000 uses, would increase the risk of cancer from several years to decades after exposure to marijuana, said Donald Tashkin, M.D., of the University of California in Los Angeles.
But in fact, they reported at the American Thoracic Society meeting here, marijuana use was associated with cancer risk ratios below 1.0, indicating that a history of pot smoking had no effect on the risk for respiratory cancers.
President Barack Obama says he won’t go after pot users in Colorado and Washington, two states that just legalized the drug for recreational use. But advocates argue the president said the same thing about medical marijuana – and yet U.S. attorneys continue to force the closure of dispensaries across the U.S.
“You’re going to be first in line to expand your customer base from 2 percent of the state’s population to potentially 100 percent of the adult population,” attorney Rob Corry said before a crowd of medical-marijuana business owners at a Thursday night forum in Denver.
But making that jump is not without peril.
Marijuana use among teens has been on the rise for some time–it’s become more popular than smoking cigarettes in recent years–but a provocative new study shows that legalizing pot for medical purposes doesn’t increase the chance that teens will abuse it or certain other drugs.
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