Argument: Smoking marijuana is generally very unhealthy
Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. "Why I Would Vote No on Pot." Time magazine. Nov. 6, 2006: "Marijuana isn't really very good for you. True, there are health benefits for some patients. [but...] Frequent marijuana use can seriously affect your short-term memory. It can impair your cognitive ability (why do you think people call it dope?) and lead to long-lasting depression or anxiety. While many people smoke marijuana to relax, it can have the opposite effect on frequent users. And smoking anything, whether it's tobacco or marijuana, can seriously damage your lung tissue...Despite all the talk about the medical benefits of marijuana, smoking the stuff is not going to do your health any good."
John Walters, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy. March, 2002 - "Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, and immune system. It impairs learning and interferes with memory, perception, and judgment. Smoked marijuana contains cancer-causing compounds and has been implicated in a high percentage of automobile crashes and workplace accidents."
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, puts it, "Numerous deleterious health consequences are associated with [marijuana's] short- and long-term use, including the possibility of becoming addicted."
Nicholas A. Pace, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at New York University Medical Center. Apr. 26, 2006. "Letter to the Editor," published in the New York Times: "Recent research shows that marijuana has detrimental effects on the brain, lungs, heart and fertility. The THC (the main ingredient in marijuana) content in marijuana used today is twice as strong as 30 years ago. The false impression that there is a medical need for marijuana confuses and misleads a poorly informed compassionate public in believing that the medical profession is withholding helpful medication from the sick."
Janet Lapey, MD, Executive Director of Concerned Citizens for Drug Prevention, Inc., stated the following in her Oct. 1, 1997 statement to the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary in the House of Representatives: "Marijuana is not the safe drug portrayed by the marijuana lobby. It is addictive; it adversely affects the immune system; leads to the use of other drugs such as cocaine; is linked to cases of cancer; causes respiratory diseases, mental disorders, including psychosis, depression, panic attacks, hallucinations, paranoia, decreased cognitive performance, disconnected thought, delusions, and impaired memory."