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Second hand marijuana

Published On: Oct 27 2013 11:26:17 PM CDT

Is second hand marijuana dangerous?


Second hand marijuana smoke is hazy except for the most popular urban myth.

“We call it the ‘concert rule’ where people say they light up, and when the urine and blood tests come in they say ‘well I was at a concert with somebody next to me,” said KRDO health expert Dr. John Torres.  “They’ve actually done studies where they’ve had people in enclosed compartments with a lot of second-hand marijuana smoke and they have not gotten to levels that would be detected in urine tests.”

But are there real health implications when it comes to second hand marijuana?

“The jury is still out.  We’re not exactly sure what the risks are, and that’s because it really hasn’t been studied yet because it hasn’t been legal until now,” Dr. Torres said.

Dr. Torres says marijuana smoke, like cigar or cigarette smoke does contain carcinogens that can cause cancer.  But marijuana might also have other substances that could counter that.  He is confident that the most affected, just like cigarettes, are children.

“The very young; their lungs are just developing so if that smoke gets in there it can cause damage to the lungs,” Dr. Torres said.

Even with Amendment 64, it is still illegal to use openly and publicly.  While you can use it in private, it’s still at your own risk.

“It could cause long-term lung cancer problems, again the jury is still out and the studies will find out but the concern is that if it causes it later on and they’re being exposed now it could obviously cause an issue,” Dr. Torres said.


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