Today's marijuana can have up to 99 percent THC, versus the 7 percent THC found in Woodstock weed. Ask someone why they smoke it and you will often hear them say, "I am only hurting myself," and that's the theological problem. We are morally forbidden from acts of self harm. All of this can be found in Saint John Paul II the Great's "The Church, Drugs and Drug Addiction," which was completed near the end of his life, but never promulgated, although copies are available to those diligent enough to find one. Thankfully the Cardinal Stafford Library at St. John Vianney Seminary has one after ordering a copy and waiting a few months to receive it. Thanks to the amazing Chris Stefanick for raising this issue.
Cannabis consumption has both positive and negative potential consequences. The same is true of all drugs and foods. Millions of people use it daily and are living healthy, productive lives. Even physicians are recommending it to patients.
Marijuana smoke contains about 50% more benzopyrene and nearly 75% more benzanthracene, both known carcinogens, than a comparable quantity of unfiltered tobacco smoke (Tashkin, 2013). Moreover, the deeper inhalations and longer breath-holding of marijuana smokers result in greater exposure of the lung to the tar and carcinogens in the smoke.
First of all, please reread what I wrote. I said "cannabis consumption", not "cannabis smoking". While cannabis smoking is one form of cannabis consumption, cannabis is also commonly consumed orally, topically, and by vaporizing the resin rather than smoking the burning leaf.Secondly, for those who choose to smoke cannabis, the available research suggests that cannabis smoking may be considerably safer than smoking tobacco. It is reported that cannabis users tend to smoke less than people who smoke cigarettes, that cannabis smokers are at lower risk for emphysema, aerodigestive cancers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than tobacco smokers, and unlike tobacco smoking, the evidence regarding an association of cannabis smoking and lung cancer is inconclusive. For example, a pooled analysis of 6 case–control studies with a total of 2,159 lung cancer cases and 2,958 controls found little or no association between cannabis smoking and lung cancer. Likewise, another large retrospective cohort study of 64,855 subjects found no increased risk for cancer after 8.6 years. Research suggests that compounds present in cannabis smoke may provide protective effects, whereas compounds present in tobacco smoke may have the opposite effect.In regard to "deeper inhalations and longer breath holding," research indicates that marijuana smokers have greater lung capacity and stronger lungs.
If you are against pot, you must also be against tobacco smoking. Remember, nicotine is brain altering, very addictive. Smokers smoke in order to get the nicotine fix. In the process, they expose themselves and others to extremely unhealthy toxins. If you are for tobacco, you must logically be for pot. Just sayin'.
Another angle. After 60 years of being told that smoking is bad for our lungs, it is now OK to smoke another substance? Also, the idea of drinking in moderation is a foreign idea to many people. Many people drink to get a serious buzz well beyond moderation. Skipping the sometimes expensive, time consuming step of drinking several drinks a pot user gets what they feel is a similar buzz. Comparing a serious drunk person to someone that is stoned is in my mind comparing the worst of two bads. Comparing a stoned person versus a responsible moderate drinker is quite another thing. Comparing a teenager that smokes weed on a daily basis to one that does not drink or smoke weed is quite another thing. Bottom line though is we are rational beings and smoking weed makes us less human. Less rational.