Early Disease Detection Substance Abuse

Marijuana Smoke Added to California List of Carcinogens

Last Friday, the state of California added marijuana smoke to the state’s official list of known carcinogens. Scientists have reportedly found that marijuana smoke shares the same harmful properties as that of tobacco smoke. The state is required by law to publish a list of chemicals that are known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. With the addition of marijuana smoke to the list, businesses such as dispensaries will be required to post warnings regarding marijuana smoke. The same does not hold true, however, for the plant itself.

cannabisAdvocates of medical marijuana as well as those pushing for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, however, are concerned that the addition of marijuana to the list might provide leverage to those who are opposed to the legalization of marijuana to push for further restriction of access to marijuana.

The labeling requirements are not set to take effect until June 19, 2010. Medical marijuana dispensaries with 10 employees or more will be required to either post a warning in the shop or put the warnings on the product itself. Those who will not abide by the labeling requirements may be fined as much $2,500 per day for each violation.

The designation was made by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. According to its chief deputy director Allan Hirsch, smoke from marijuana is a mixture of various chemicals, some of those already listed on the Prop. 65 list. A panel of scientists reportedly reviewed an “extensive body of research,” where links between marijuana smoke and cancer were found. Specifically mentioned in the report were head and neck cancers. The review did not include studies that indicate the various medical benefits of marijuana, which include the reduction of nausea and the restoration of appetite following chemotherapy as well as hampering the progress of glaucoma.


  1. Sober says legalize it

    Legalize it. Treat it like alcohol plain and simple. End black market and violence.

    Once it’s legal it will be exciting for the first 3 months. After that, the people who smoke now, will probably smoke the same amount. And the people who won’t, simply won’t. Not much will change. \

    I’m so sick of the Gateway Drug Argument. Alcohol is the ULTIMATE GATEWAY DRUG. It’s probably 90% of people’s first buzz. And if they like it, the want more. None of my successful friends that smoke got into heavy drugs like coke.

    It’s a shame that the people who get addicted and kill themselves with crack & cocaine get wrapped in the same category as an adult that want to smoke a joint on a Friday night….. What a weird world.

    And if treated like alcohol. Kids will have as much access to it as a 6 pack of beer. In otherwords, if regulated, kids can’t get it.

    So legalize it. And to the folks that say NO and that have never done it, what right do they have to judge it?

    Why would I care what my neighbors do if it were not hurting anyone?

  2. EndtheProhibition

    A warning that marijuana smoke contains carcinogens would be accurate. But a warning that marijuana smoke causes cancer is NOT.

    Any company complying by this requirement should be sued in federal court for lying to their customers!

  3. AB390

    Scientific studies have never proven a link between marijuana smoking and cancer. In fact, those who smoke only marijuana have a lower lung cancer rate than those who smoke nothing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501729_pf.html

    Another study shows that THC kills brain tumor cells in mice: http://www.aacr.org/home/public–media/aacr-press-releases/press-releases-2004.aspx?d=139

    Even if marijuana smoking did cause cancer, that is no reason arrest people for possession of it. Many legal substances cause cancer, e.g., tobacco and alcohol.

    Vaporizing marijuana may be a healthier way to use it. However, because of our paraphernalia laws, possession of a marijuana vaporizer puts its owner at risk.

    The war on marijuana has caused a lot more damage than the drug itself. America arrests 800,000 people a year for marijuana offenses. Those people’s lives are often ruined: they may lose their driver’s licenses. If they are students, they lose their financial aid.

    Marijuana represents about 1% of the gross domestic product of the US. Yet it is completely untaxed.

    It’s time for ordinary citizens to do something about the real crime which is marijuana prohibition.

    Email your state representatives and tell them to support California Assembly Bill 390, which would legalize cannabis for adults. It’s easy. Visit yes390.org

  4. Lacy LaPlante

    Actually, I think this is a good thing, the easier it becomes to categorize, and regulate marijuana the easier it will be for legalization advocates to push for change. Here is more on how the plant can be used to increase state revenue: http://www.newsy.com/videos/in_pot_we_trust
    Furthermore, it isn’t like making the substance illegal has done anything to deter use. So we might as well get revenue from it.

  5. Anne

    Prohibition is the cause of nearly all the drug-related problems in our country today. Marijuana doesn’t make people sick and has never, in the history of mankind, ever killed a single human being. Why should responsible users, who are the vast majority, pay such steep consequences for the few who can’t control themselves? Marijuana isn’t a problem and is in fact one of the best natural substances known to mankind. The problem is prohibition and the “War on Drugs”, both of which have cost this country far more than billiions of dollars, it has cost us our families, our trust in our government, our homes, our privacy, our freedom, and our basic human right to enjoy one of God’s greatest creations.

    The time to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana has come. Tell your representatives how you feel. Vote for politicians that support ending this greatest of all US fiascoes. And vote-out the blind prohibitionists. If they still think prohibition is a smart thing, then the rest of their mindset is probably just as worthless.

  6. RealiyChk

    The concept of any prohibition comes from the definition of a sumptuary law. A sumptuary law attempts to control and divide people into classes by limiting the desires of those considered the lesser class. Generally monarch type governments use sumptuary laws to inflict class separation through prohibiting the lesser class from participating in something reserved strictly by the so called upper class royalty.
    Any 4th grade student understands this country was founded on the principles of individual freedoms.” A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” -Abraham Lincoln U.S. President. These same people pushing prohibition would be targeted for treason investigation had they been around during the founding of our country! Don’t Be fooled American people any prohibition enforcement against us is as UN-AMERICAN as Hitler!!

  7. DarthNole

    This is because the studies used only allow for smoked marijuana which allows for the combustion of the plant material. It is the combustion process that releases the carcinogens.

    Using a Vaporizer solves this problem as the plant material does not reach the combustion point and therefore carcinogens are not released. Doctors that recommend marijuana for medicine should be explaining the Chemistry to their patients and educating them to the healthier way to injest marijuana.

    Stop hiding behind flawed studies and fudged statistics to make an arguement for Prohibition. You can’t just choose one way to test a substance when there are alternative delivery methods available. Choosing the obvious and most harmful way to injest marijuana and then crafting legislation around that one specific manner of delivery is outrageous. Where is the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that investigates Marijuana Vapors???? Can we get your scientific recommendation on Marijuana’s other delivery methods.

  8. Wall

    Why don’t people just stop smoking marijuana which will cause the demand to stop which would stop the money for growers who would no longer fund the cartel gunmen who would no longer kill each other which would cause less crime. WOW! If only someone could stop the “non” addictive drug and prevent all of this.

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