Science once again knows more than prohibitionists

Study: Smoking Marijuana Not Linked with Lung Damage by Maia Szalavitz in TIME.

Marijuana does not impair lung function—at least not in the doses inhaled by the majority of users, according to the largest and longest study ever to consider the issue, which was published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers working on a long-term study of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults or CARDIA study) tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years, starting in 1985 when they were aged 18 to 30. […]

While tobacco smokers showed the expected drop in lung function over time, the new research found that marijuana smoke had unexpected and apparently positive effects. Low to moderate users actually showed increased lung capacity compared to nonsmokers on two tests, known as FEV1 and FVC. FEV1 is the amount of air someone breathes out in the first second after taking the deepest possible breath; FVC is the total volume of air exhaled after the deepest inhalation.

“FEV1 and FVC both actually increased with moderate and occasional use of marijuana,” says Dr. Mark Pletcher, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco and the lead author of the study.

Not that it really matters from a legalization point of view. Even if marijuana was damaging to lungs, that wouldn’t in any way justify prohibition. But this study makes prohibition “arguments” look even more pathetic.

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49 Responses to Science once again knows more than prohibitionists

  1. darkcycle says:

    I’m both relieved, AND emitting an unbroken stream of profanity…what an odd reaction.

  2. Swooper420 says:

    OT Alert!!!
    I’m just so happy my butt is wiggling!

    SCOTUS refused to hear a case from Oregon concerning Concealed Weapon Permits. There is no problem with issuing a CWP to a medical cannabis patient in Oregon. This may change legislatively, but for now, the sheriffs who took this all the way just got a good swift kick in the butt!

    Federally, we are still prohibited from owning a firearm, but if you are legal in your state, the sheriff can’t hold back a CWP for having a registry card.

  3. Nunavut Tripper says:

    Well this is music to my ears. Can’t wait to show this to a couple of rabid prohibs in my own family.
    I’ve always led a fairly healthy lifestyle and never used tobacco but a year ago I had a stent installed in a secondary artery in my heart. The docs asked me to enroll in a vascular dynamics research program at the university which was basically 6 months of intensive gym training under their supervision. At the beginning my fitness and lung capacity was 109% of national average. At the end I came out at 128% of the national average for a man my age.
    My wife and I are avid hikers,bikers and kayakers.
    The kicker is I’m 65 and I’ve used cannabis on a regular basis since 1970 but strictly vaporizing for the last ten years.
    I’m still waiting for the weed to destroy my life…Kevin Sabet said it would ,didn’t he ?

    • darkcycle says:

      This has been a good day for science.

    • Francis says:

      Ironically, of those men who received treatment for their drug use, their cognitive functioning had greatly diminished over those 8 years. Since cannabis users RARELY receive professional treatment such as rehab, this indicates that they used other hard drugs as well, such as cocaine or methamphetamine. Pure cannabis users showed no decrease in cognitive functioning, and a large percent of them actually showed an increase in mental clarity.

      Hmmm, it looks like they’re going to need to revise the design of Spliff Ball.

      • Duncan20903 says:

        Well it still doesn’t exonerate cannabis! Everyone knows it’s the “gateway” drug to addiction! There wouldn’t be a single hard drug addict if cannabis didn’t exist! Alcoholics aren’t drug addicts! No pot! = No drug addiction! = No crime, death or disease! Everything bad is all pots fault!


        Hairy J Prohibitionist

  4. kaptinemo says:

    ““There are clearly adverse effects from tobacco use and marijuana smoke has a lot of the same constituents as tobacco smoke does so we thought it might have some of the same harmful effects. It’s a weird effect to see and we couldn’t make it go away,” he adds, explaining that the researchers used statistical models to look for errors or other factors that could explain the apparent benefit and did not find them. (Emphasis mine – k.)

    Yes, they ‘couldn’t make it go away’. Another of Charles Fort’s ‘The Damned’, as in a fact that throws all the carefully constructed BS into a tail-spin and crash.

    If you had to print out every single scientific study that demolishes the medical rationale for cannabis prohibition, you’d need a forklift to carry them. And, yes, this is one very real case that you actually can smoke medicine. Two fingers in the prohib’s eyes…not that they’d notice, as willfully blind as they are.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Carl Olsen took along all he could carry to show to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy. He was broke and couldn’t afford a U-haul that day.

      • David Marsh says:

        Duncan, I met Carl at the Iowa City hearing. He has a new website and is still broke.

  5. Francis says:

    While tobacco smokers showed the expected drop in lung function over time, the new research found that marijuana smoke had unexpected and apparently positive effects. Low to moderate users actually showed increased lung capacity compared to nonsmokers on two tests, known as FEV1 and FVC.

    “Unexpected” by whom? Not by anyone who’s familiar with (if I can borrow from my comment on the previous thread) “Francis’ Law”* which postulates that any time the drug warriors make a claim about cannabis, it will eventually be discovered to be not only false, but the complete opposite of the truth. This is just another in a long line of examples where the drug warriors got it not just wrong on cannabis, but backwards.

    *I figure if I repeat it enough, it will start to catch on. 😉

  6. vickyvampire says:

    Yeah definitely a good day for science like you say Darkcycle they also restated that red wine is good for you but they continue to tell teens to abstain from both instead of teaching them how to partake responsibly from both wine and Pot.

  7. claygooding says:

    The ONDCP’s playbook is getting real thin,and the only thing we have not proven false is his statement that he believes pot is a dangerous drug,,,wish one of his buddies would post a pic of him hitting a bong.

    • Chris says:

      “Smoked marijuana is not medicine” – They really liked using this one, too bad.

      The improvement wasn’t seen in the heaviest users, however. At high levels of marijuana use—for example, in those who smoked more than 20 times a month—FEV1 slipped back to levels seen in nonusers and a reduction was seen in, um, the most chronic smokers.

      Wow, is that what passes for a mainstream media pot joke nowadays? I guess it can be hard to make fun of something when you’re writing an article about how it can improve your health.

    • darkcycle says:

      …that made me grin.

    • claygooding says:

      On second thought please do not post that pic,it could cause weak minded prohibitionist to have ptsd.
      Besides,it’s illegal to use cartoon characters smoking so Deputy Droopy Dog taking a toke could cause you legal issues.

  8. darkcycle says:

    Francis’ Law
    Submitted by

  9. MaineGeezer says:

    This is hardly new. There have been strong indications for some time that MJ “should” cause lung cancer, but doesn’t. I think the particular significance of this study is:
    1) This was a big, long-term study difficult to dismiss as “not meaningful” (though you can notice attempts in the article to discount the results).
    2. It was published by the AMA, giving further credibility.
    3. The story is being published in major newspapers instead of being ignored because it “sends the wrong message.”

    I think #3 is a very positive sign that Things Are Changing. The government propaganda machine isn’t able to control media content anymore. Journalists and editors are waking up.

    • Francis says:

      Good points. And re #3, I’d recently been thinking the same thing. See, e.g., this story from Fox News: Pot Smoking Not Tied to Middle-Age Mental Decline.

      Marijuana was by far the most common indulgence for the participants—who were surveyed at age 42 about current or past drug use, then tested at age 50—with six percent saying they had used it in the past year, while one-quarter said they had ever used it.

      Dregan’s team used data on 8,992 42-year-olds participating in a UK national health study, who were asked if they had ever used any of 12 illegal drugs. Then, at the age of 50, they took standard tests of memory, attention and other cognitive abilities.

      Overall, the study found, there was no evidence that current or past drug users had poorer mental performance. In fact, when current and past users were lumped together, their test scores tended to be higher.

      And hey, what do you know? It looks like another application of Francis’ Law. But yeah, I get the sense that the media zeitgeist is finally changing and it’s changing FAST. No wonder Sabet and those other clowns are playing that desperate “moderate” crap.

      • stayan says:

        Everyone I know who uses illicit drugs is smarter and earns more money than me 🙁

        I don’t even drink.

  10. Matthew Meyer says:

    But you know, news like this just leads more young people to experiment with marijuana.

    Let’s play a game: who can guess how the ONDCP will spin this one?

    Love these studies of large groups of real people. So much better than “substance A has carcinogens x, y, z. It makes you die. Substance B has them too. You can draw your own conclusions.”

    • allan says:

      oh… Matthew, they’ve already rode thru town on the horse called “discussing-medical-marijuana-increases-teen-use”… it was a gelding I believe. A common trait it seems among the emperor w/o clothes’ coterie.

      And was that another thud I just heard?

      I think… that if I throw in Ron Paul’s 2nd place finish in New Hempshire… yeah, it’s a thud. I like the sound of falling bricks… it makes my little stoned, anarchistic, nature lovin’ heart beat a tad faster.

      Another thought… as great as y’all are at laying seige… throw in a letter to the editor. It’s been the biscuits and gravy of drug sense communicating our message. Kirk Muse is still whipping ’em out almost daily, Robert Sharpe continues to get great letters printed… over at MAP there is a handy tool, the Source Directory – – that has thousand of newspaper and magazine contact info, by (logically enough) clicking on the contact button. Find your paper of interest, like say… The Irish Times, and you get this:

      Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
      Address: PO BOX 74, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
      Fax: + 353 1 671 9407
      Copyright: 2012 The Irish Times

      I bow to the wwwebbeast we’ve become. Seriously. Topping every Obama request for questions is no small feet. We occasionally deserve a hearty huzzah! yet seldom do we get much beyond more dung flung at us for efforts. But that’s one of the reasons god made cannabis, much as it’s a neuroprotectant it also acts as an esteemprotectant, shielding our egos with humourous retort against Der Poopenflingenerers. Not something you’ll probably find in the literature but it’s there in real life…

      Remember real life?

      • Francis says:

        And was that another thud I just heard?

        I think… that if I throw in Ron Paul’s 2nd place finish in New Hempshire… yeah, it’s a thud. I like the sound of falling bricks… it makes my little stoned, anarchistic, nature lovin’ heart beat a tad faster.

        Yeah, the image of the drug war as a crumbling wall is one that really appeals to me. Of course, instead of bricks it was built using lies and half-truths. (The mortar is equals parts ignorance, racism, and protectionist greed.) What I can’t figure out is how it’s still standing at this point. I feel like I’m looking at a 54-story Jenga tower (to change the metaphor slightly). I mean, where do the drug warriors go from here? Oh, and could somebody please just sneeze?!

      • Duncan20903 says:

        How ‘dangerous’ is Ron Paul to the Republican platform?
        Christian Science Monitor – ‎43 minutes ago‎

        Ron Paul finished a strong second in New Hampshire, which means his ‘dangerous’ ideas will likely shape the GOP platform.

        I was driving around in Bygolly West Virginia yesterday. I saw 3 Ron Paul yard signs, including one that could well have been called a small billboard. Not a single sign for any of the other also rans. The man’s campaign is snowballing, no doubt.

  11. Duncan20903 says:

    A tree stump is smarter than a sackful of prohibitionists. I’m starting to think that the label “Know Nothing” is a gross overstatement of their mental perspicacity.
    Now as we all know, “never let the facts get in the way of disseminating an effective piece of hysterical rhetoric” is the motto of the Know ≤ Nothing prohibitionist. Many have accused me of engaging in wanton hyperbole when I point out that observation of fact. But pointing out examples of this behavior couldn’t hurt. A story like this always gets their knees jerking and they just can’t stop themselves.

    From the SF Chronicle, on 1:08 PM on January 10, 2012 a certain BGJohnson said:

    Makes a lot of sense…

    At 1:15 PM on January 10, 2012 someone calling himself Duncan20903 took Mr. Johnson to task:

    You need to learn to differentiate between objects. Everything is not the same as everything else.

    At 1:38 PM on January 10, 2012 BGJohnson responded:

    You didn’t read.

    It’s comparing the effects of marijuana smoke to that of cigarettes.

    Pretty obviously a fair comparison.

    At 1:35 PM on January 10, 2012, Bayrider says he intentionally disregards factual evidence:

    right. I also read another ‘scientific study’ here a while back that claimed a single puff of tobacco could kill you with a stroke or some nonsense.

    I just don’t believe anything I read here anymore. And I certainly wouldn’t take any advice from the ridiculous media.

    …and at 1:50 PM on January 10, 2012 Asmodeus2 regurgitated:

    Blithering nonsense. Inhaling smoke of any kind damages the lungs. Why would they rig a study to try to say otherwise?

    Unless, of course, they were personalizing the study just a bit.

    • darkcycle says:

      Duncan…remember the churchmen and Gallileo. “We will NOT look through your telescope. We do not HAVE to look through your telescope. Tell us not what we will see, we know already what we should see.” or somthing to that effect.

  12. Ed Dunkle says:

    Science has nothing to do with DEA policy. And the Obama led Department of Justice will continue to raid medical marijuana stores.

    I wonder how Kevin Sabet is going to spin this.

  13. Smokey Stover says:

    Even if it did harm the lungs a vaporizer would easily correct that problem. All the studies showing marijuana’s positive effects will be suppressed.

  14. Dante says:


    Cannabis causes cancer, has no medical use. Cannabis very harmful. Cannabis bad.

    Fast Forward to the year 2075:

    Cannabis cures cancer, amoung other uses. Cannabis totally harmless. Cannabis good.

    What changed? Not cannabis.

  15. dt says:

    IIRC, the lung study Kerlikowske cited in his petition response had something like 12 participants who were included in the study because they presented with lung problems. This is a resounding refutation… My head is going to explode if I ever see a prohibitionist make another lung-related argument. What the hell do they have left? “Marijuana makes you lazy”?

  16. ezrydn says:

    And with Paul saying he’ll cut a trillion from the budget lends itself to some enjoyable speculation on who could feel the knife blade. I’d bet that makes the rabid MORE “rabid!” Imagine, #2 in the voting has already targeted their precious sanctuary.

  17. claygooding says:

    We are seeing the results of our efforts every day,,in the news and even on the streets.

    We have the ATF and the DEA breaking laws to prove they are necessary and to ask for bigger budgets to catch the criminals committing the crimes.

    We have Sabet,McCaffery and Walters doing opeds every other day,only to be beaten too death with their own words unless they can post where no comments are allowed.

    As allan has said,,”we have the beast cornered and must be careful because even in it’s death throes,it is a dangerous animal” or something to that effect.

    Close allan?

    • allan says:

      aye, close enough laddie… (and ya havta say that “laddie” with a Sean Connery-like rumblin’ brogue)

      Those “death throes” include the recent mmj raids… the plethora of prohib opeds (which, thanks to the kind hearted beast we are, get trounced every time) and yes, those DEA/ATF fiascoes. They’re in deep shit and they know it. Facts keep piling up on our side like snowdrifts against the house in a blizzard. Them, not so much. Maybe like even hardly ever… I mean really, when their best weapon has become a silly rant about potheads growing beards… it all means it is really time to put on those hardhats. Come on, we’ve had our safety meeting *coughcough* so let’s be safe… there’s a wall comin’ down.

  18. Duncan20903 says:

    Using gift cards to cure recidivism:

    Seriously, it’s in there. I’m not bullshitting! I swear to god! Honest injun!

  19. allan says:

    of course it is Duncan. The king don’t lie! Might fib or greatly stretch the truth on occasion… but, hey, he’s the king.

    And what a silly thing… “behavioral management helps control marijuana use.” Duh. So does an empty pocketbook. But then, that’s why god made so many potheads – because that way somebody always has some herb.

  20. primus says:

    Prior to prohibition, cannabis was used to treat asthma; cannabis powder was sprinkled on tinfoil and heated from below, and the vapours were inhaled by the sufferer. It was so important that the AMA was aghast when they learned of its banning, as they had no other treatment so effective. Cannabis in conjunction with tobacco causes the most COPD because of this effect; the cannabis opens the airways and allows the toxins in the tobacco to penetrate deeper into the lungs. On its own, cannabis causes no COPD.

    As to why we are gaining, it has to do with readership of news media; Because of our bombardment, readers became aware that they were being fed tripe so they refused to read/watch. The media are driven by advertising, which is reader/viewer dependent. To attract viewer/readers, they must regain their relevance. Truth is the only route to that, and they know it. They must be seen to be trying to tell the truth, or they will be out of business.

  21. TINMA says:

    Yes, we know all that we know about cannabis, yet government still says its dangerous.

    We know this is a stupid law. So why is it still illegal?

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