second hand marijuana smoke

The Danger of Second Hand Marijuana Smoke – Bad Science & Scare Tactics

A new study claims that second hand marijuana smoke is more dangerous than second hand tobacco smoke, but there are some serious questions that must be asked about the methods, conclusions and motives of the researchers and publishers involved.


The big news in cannabis this week will be the conclusions of newly published study which indicates that second hand marijuana smoke poses an imminent health risk. While this information will certainly strengthen the fear-based narratives being used to restrict or heavily regulate cannabis use, there are plenty of reasons to question the veracity and intent of the source.

Let’s begin with the science itself, which is extremely problematic. First of all, the study does not meet scientific rigor as a sound theory for the simple fact that its results have not been duplicated. Even worse, the findings are the opposite of several other studies which have concluded otherwise. So far as science goes, a single unduplicated study with findings contradictory to several other studies is pretty much no science at all.

Within the realm of science such anomalies are generally sent to the sidelines until they can be verified by similar studies and provide a fairly high degree of predictive certainty. It would be irresponsible for scientists to accept such a theory, let alone recommend courses of action based upon it.

It is even more scandalous for the media to report these incomplete and premature findings to the general public, yet this is exactly what is happening.

As for the study itself, it was conducted in a short time using a very limited sample size, which is like determining the nature of lightning by observing a single storm. There is no long term information that indicates the veracity of the claims. There are no actual subjects or patients who have displayed the results suggested. In fact, there were not even any human subjects involved.

The tests were conducted on lab rats. While it is possible to gather general information about how mammals react to certain conditions, differences between species remain pronounced enough not to draw correlative conclusions.

On top of that you have to wonder how the rats were even subjected to the marijuana smoke. Is it the amount of smoke they were subjected to equivalent to amount humans would be subjected to? How was this determined? Did a special machine smoke the marijuana and dole out the clouds in rat portions, or were some college kids recruited to blow their smoke into rat cages?

Either way, can we be sure this is equivalent, or is it more like 200 foot giants blowing their smoke at us while confined to a small area? Until you have rats smoking joints near rats who are non-users, you can hardly claim there are any significant similarities.

On top of that the exposure to the smoke was an entire minute, far longer than it takes for the smoke to dissipate in non-laboratory conditions where humans interact in real life.

The Flat Earth contingent actually have better scientific arguments than this study.

Another clue as to the vacant claims of this supposed science is in its comparison. The conclusions do not just say “pot smoke is bad, m’kay”. They say that it is even worse than second hand tobacco smoke. But what if the information on second hand tobacco smoke is a lie unto itself?

Although you probably have been led to believe that second hand tobacco smoke is a health scourge, the science supporting it may very well be fraudulent. Legislating preferences via bogus science has become a regular gambit in our culture. Our unquestioning nature of anything deemed scientific has made us vulnerable to lies and propaganda.

If second hand tobacco smokes health risk is based on incomplete science and lies, then a study based on a comparison to it holds no weight whatsoever.

So why then would a study with such untenable conclusions come to be, let alone be published?

The research and its conclusions come from University of California – San Francisco’s Division of Cardiology. This is problematic for two reasons.

First, it is a government funded institution, which means it receives money from the same entity that profits from restricting and regulating marijuana. These connections lead to a clear conflict of interest.

The researchers also receive funding from the group that published the results – The American Heart Association. While the name of that organization may sound benevolent, its sources of funding lead right to the pharmaceutical industry and its profiteers.

With medical marijuana on the horizon looming as a threat to that industries healthcare monopoly and the ensuing profits, any science conducted with its money must be examined and scrutinized for agendas which use ‘science’ to confirm biases that lead to marijuana fears in the public.

A few days before this study was released I heard from a law enforcement officer who supports legalizing marijuana. Although he supported ending prohibition, he was an advocate of heavy regulation. One of the concerns he mentioned was the danger of second hand marijuana smoke.

Considering our conversation later, I wondered how long it would be before bad science would bolster such fears, in hopes of turning the loss of prohibition into a regulatory win for politicians and the criminal justice system. I did not imagine it would happen quite that quickly.

I have said it a million times before, and I will say it a million more – the closer the government comes to losing the war on drugs, the more desperate and asinine its protests and propaganda will become.

On top of that, I will be willing to consider marijuana smoke seriously as an environmental pollutant when you can provide me a scientific control group not constantly wafting through the industrial vapors of petro-chemicals. Even if this study is true, I will hold on to my pot pipe without any reservation just as long as you hold on to the oversized status symbol in your driveway that obviously does more for air quality toxins than a trillion bongs across the world.

As a final note to prohibition supporters,  I will be happy to keep my smoke out of your face as long as you are willing to keep your fear-based laws off of my body and states of consciousness. Your oppression is far more dangerous than my purple haze.

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