Smoking Pot All Day, Every Day Might Not Be Good For You

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director June 3, 2008

    Ever wonder why the studies purporting to ‘prove’ marijuana’s health risks only recruit subjects who smoke pot 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

    Heavy marijuana use shrinks brain parts
    via Reuters  

    Brain scans showed the hippocampus and amygdala were smaller in men who were heavy marijuana users compared to nonusers.  … The men had smoked at least five marijuana cigarettes daily for on average 20 years.    

    The answer: If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be any purported risks left to write about.

    I mean, seriously, imagine if these scientists had tried recruiting 15 subjects who drank at least five shots of vodka every day for 20 years? That is, if they could find 15 subjects who were still alive.

    Marijuana may up heart attack, stroke risk
    via Reuters

    Heavy marijuana use can boost blood levels of a particular protein, perhaps raising a person’s risk of a heart attack or stroke, U.S. government researchers said on Tuesday. …The marijuana users in the study averaged smoking 78 to 350 marijuana cigarettes per week.

    The study did not look at whether the heavy marijuana users actually had heart disease. 

    So here we go again. Three-hundred and fifty joints per week?! Who are these people? And what’s with the caveat at the end of the story? If the purpose of the study is to assess whether there might be a link between ridiculously heavy pot use and heart disease, then why not, you know, look to see whether the subjects actually suffered from heart disease? (Likely answer: Aside from the abnormal protein level, the patients were probably otherwise healthy.)

    Bottom line: smoking pot all day, every day probably isn’t good for you (though I find it interesting that, even among the most prolific pot users, most of the herb’s purported dangers are either speculative or are only apparent on hyper-sensitive brain scans and multi-tiered neurocognitive tests). Fortunately, 99.9 percent of pot smokers don’t behave this way.

    And no, it’s not prohibition that curbs their use habits; it’s the recognition that too much pot is not conducive to an otherwise healthy, responsible lifestyle (just as pounding five shots a day wouldn’t be conducive to, well, life).

    So what lesson can be learned from the two studies above (aside from the fact that our government has no interest in investigating the health of ordinary cannabis consumers)? It’s that pot, like alcohol, is best consumed in moderation, and that pot prohibition — even when compared to the excessive use of the drug itself — still poses the greatest threat to health.

    26 responses to “Smoking Pot All Day, Every Day Might Not Be Good For You”

    1. brian says:

      How come they never do tests on deaths of people who have smoked to much pot, or death from using marijuana? Oh right because there hasn’t yet been a case of that. Honestly why would anyone believe any of the doctors or medical issues that come from the Bush Administration. There isn’t enough drugs for me to believe anything they say.

    2. Pete Lyons says:

      I think you stretched the truth too far on the alcohol comparison. 5 shots at day may be more than the doctor recommends but that’s only equivalent to a few drinks. You could find many reasonably healthy folks who drink that much. Your point is taken about the stupidity of the research but I don’t think it serves the cause to exaggerate the risk of another enjoyable substance.

    3. […] missed). In every test performed, Sagan’s brain won handily, despite being dead for 12 years. Morehere andhere Marijuana. Harmless? Um, no. But probably less harmful than — prohibition, alcohol, […]

    4. native says:

      Too much of anything not just alcohol or marijuana are harmful. Food being the most clear example of something perceived by society as acceptable that if not used in moderation taking into account the other variables in a persons life will result in increased medial issues, cost, and ultimately death. As stated in the article truth and accurate science is not the objective the results of these studies are simply propaganda to manipulate people into perceiving things in a way that is favorable to an already established agenda. While I am not a conspiracy theorist any hope I had of significant change in this legislation is fading.

    5. Michele Ruggiero says:

      If I smoked that much pot I would never tell a government scientist, I wonder if those “Pot Heads” are going to get busted.

    6. Phil says:

      Life is about moderation…

      Drink to much, smoke to much, each to much, sleep to much, hell even exercise too much.

      If you do ANYTHING 24/7 it is going to control your life, actually, it already has.

    7. AbbyNORML says:

      I smoke it all day long and probably do shrink my brain. I hope so. I have a WAIS score of 156, which I can tell you is ONE MAJOR IMPEDIMENT in this society.

      My life has already been compromised, corrupted and greatly shortened by stupid people. If being more stupid means less pain I have to endure before I cash out, so be it!

    8. Anonymous says:

      Wow 300 something weed cigarette a week!? If I even had a life time supply of weed I wouldn’t want to smoke that much, thats way too ridiculous.

    9. Milk says:

      …all things in moderation… try drinking WATER all day, every day for twenty years. Or, as the comment above suggests, try EATING hamburgers all day every day, taking TYLENOL all day every day, etc. for 20 years and compare the results with these “all day every day” pot smokers – who’s alive and/or healthier at the end of the study?

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