A team of UCLA researchers under the direction of one Donald Taskin reports, contrary to drug-war agitprop, that inhaling the haze of Mary-Jane, “even regularly and heavily, does not lead to lung cancer” (Marc Kaufman, “Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection,” Washington Post, 26 May 2006, p. A3, my emphasis).
Intaking the toke, according to Tashkin’s work, may — perhaps — even have “‘some protective effect’” on the lungs.
The Post adds that past studies Tashkin conducted had pointed to toxic agents in marijuana akin to those which are understood to be cancerous in tobacco. However, “the chemical THC [TetraHydroCannabinol] … may kill aging cells and keep them from becoming cancerous,” Tashkin asserts.
Unlike the wacky tobacke, the other leaf is highly addictive thanks to nicotine; likely, there’s the greater health threat — with the accepted, massively subsidized cash crop and not the demon-plant sown into the black market.
(Researchers of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, in 1997, tentatively “concluded that … marijuana use and cancer were not associated in overall analyses” in their study.)