Current stance, gumby, is that it's a no-no if it is illegal and you have to smoke it. Besides which they quote selected sources that say smoking is bad for you.
A number of countries are considering legalizing marijuana, mainly for medicinal use. The drug has been found to alleviate the nausea caused by chemotherapy, and it evidently helps AIDS sufferers to overcome loss of appetite. It has also been used as a pain reliever.
While there is disagreement about the results of research findings, tests that were reported on in New Scientist magazine have established some of the harmful effects of marijuana.
A Harvard University test compared a group who smoked marijuana daily with a group who used it less often. They found little difference on standard mental tests. However, on one test dealing with adaptability, the heavy marijuana users scored much lower.
Another university tested a group of regular marijuana smokers and a group of cigarette smokers, over a period of 15 years. The marijuana smokers usually had three or four joints a day, while the cigarette smokers had 20 or more cigarettes a day. Equal numbers from both groups suffered from coughing and bronchitis. Examination of the lungs revealed similar cell damage in both groups.
Although the marijuana smokers indulged much less often, it was found that a single joint releases three times as much tar as a cigarette. Furthermore, New Scientist reported: "Marijuana smokers inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer."
In addition, immune cells from the lungs of the marijuana smokers were found to be 35 percent less capable of fighting bacteria than were cells from the cigarette smokers.