Inspired by a conversation I had with a fellow blogger.
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Yes, I know there are studies that show it's helpful for a few different ailments.
Yes, I know that it's likely just about has harmful as your average bottle of hard liquor, especially over the short term. Long term? Well the jury is still out.
Anyway, I still have reservations.
Well this may sound trite, but work with me for a moment. I'm opposed to legalizing Marijuana as something that needs to be smoked in order to be delivered into the body. Pouring anything like that into your lungs is extremely harmful, and I just as soon not see people turn their lungs into tar balls from any kind of burning vegetable matter, period.
I also have this nagging sense that some who claim a medicinal need to smoke Marijuana actually just want to sit around, eat Doritos, and listen to the Dave Matthews Band (or Phish, Snoop Dogg, the Grateful Dead, etc). That's okay, by the way, at least if one is intellectually honest about the pursuit. Where I have problems is with the crowd that claims a need to get baked because they get headaches. God made big pharma to tackle problems like that (see Advil). Sacrificing one part of your body to help another just doesn't sound like good medicine to me.
Now I get it: Some of the medicinal uses of Marijuana can't be delivered in food or pill form (think cancer patients suffering from nausea, for example). So why doesn't someone come up with a spray version of the stuff that could be delivered a-la inhaler style? Maybe I'm being incredibly naive here, but if I were being treated for cancer, I'd likely want to do things that made me healthier. Yeah, I know, some cancer treatments (such as radiation) are decidedly non-healthy, but they serve the greater purpose of killing cancer cells. Deeply inhaling burning leaves and twigs doesn't serve that purpose. Again, it's trading one bad things (smoking something) to relieve another bad thing (not eating).
Oh, one other thing: Don't give me the "But it's natural!" argument. If it was "natural" for our lungs to be filled with burning crap, then we'd likely have some kind of better filtration constructed into our respiratory systems. Simply put, smoking anything is the height of unnatural. Radon is a naturally occurring thing; anyone want to argue that it's healthy? The whole "natural" vs. "man-made" argument gets silly, as just about everything mankind creates is made from "natural" things. If anything, it's combinations of "natural" things that are the problem.
Just my 3.5 cents. For a more informed read on Marijuana, refer to this article on WebMD.