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Argument: Marijuana use impairs the immune system

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Supporting quotations

Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director, "How does marijuana use affect physical health?" - "Research Report Series", National Institute on Drug Abuse, 22 July 2008.

“When marijuana is smoked, its active ingredient, THC (TetraHydroCannabinol ), travels throughout the body. As THC impairs the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer. In laboratory experiments that exposed animal and human cells to THC or other marijuana ingredients, the normal disease-preventing reactions of many of the key types of immune cells were inhibited. In other studies, mice exposed to THC or related substances were more likely than unexposed mice to develop bacterial infections and tumors. One study has indicated that a person's risk of heart attack during the first hour after smoking marijuana is four times his or her usual risk. The researchers suggest that a heart attack might occur, in part, because marijuana raises blood pressure and heart rate and reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood.”

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