nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Friday, October 29, 2010

I Refuse To Get Sucked Into The Marijuana Debate

Just a quick question.

Isn't smoking marijuana...uh...smoking?

For some reason, the health effects of smoking don't seem to enter the arguments for and against legalization.  And it's astonishing that some people who would have a stroke if a person pulled out a cheroot in a public place, or have severe allergies to smoke of any kind, seem OK with this particular type of smoke.

A quick literature review didn't provide me with any reputable and well-controlled research on the subject.  Oh, yes, there are some studies and they are widely touted by both sides, depending on their political advocacy.

But what research I could find was all poorly designed and inconclusive.  The stumbling blocks to getting a definitive answer are admittedly great:  several decades of observation needed, reluctance to participate in a study, subjective assessment of benefit/harm.

Having to fall back on biological plausibility, it seems unlikely that inhaling a partially combusted botanical that contains hundreds of compounds is without adverse health effects.

But, legitimate science is not going to be a deciding factor for the voters.

This is one of those situations where preconceived belief will resist any evidence to the contrary.

Doc D

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