This guy appears happy, right? I guess he didn't hear that Marijuana Causes Heart Disease, at least in a recent study that was reported at CNN.com from April 23, 2014 in an article entitled, "Marijuana Use Linked To Heart Problems."
The study found that from 2006 to 2010, 35 patients who had heart problems smoked marijuana. The records that were studied were from France, but the study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. So, is there bias here? It is up to you to decide.
"Hey, Dr. Mike, I thought that marijuana was safe?" I get this question a lot. Now that we have legal marijuana recreational use in states like Colorado, I think this will be an opportunity to do research to really test this question. Can we prove it causes heart disease, or not? Can we prove it causes lung cancer, or not? Can we prove it causes brain damage? We don't have enough information to say that marijuana is safe, and not enough information to definitely say that it affects specific parts of the body.
Unfortunately, something that I have seen anecdotally, and there is some studies that back this up, marijuana dependence is real - meaning I have seen the effects of marijuana addiction with my own eyes. And, I do believe that marijuana is a "gateway drug," meaning that young people who smoke marijuana are more likely to abuse other drugs, like prescription pain killers.
From a political standpoint, I think that national legal medical marijuana use is inevitable. And, more and more states will allow recreational marijuana use in the next few years. From a medical standpoint, the question of "Is Long Term Marijuana Use Safe?" - this question is still unclear, but research studies will start to find this out...