Research into the possible health effects of secondhand marijuana smoke exposure is in its infancy, but Dr. Matthew Springer with University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, has begun his investigation.

In a piece airing on KALW Local Public Radio, titled “Is secondhand cannabis smoke bad for you?,” Dr. Springer discussed his early results.  Dr. Springer must purchase specially-approved government cannabis and can only conduct research on animals, in this case rats, and not humans.

Dr. Springer’s research has found that, “the smoke — whether it’s from a cigarette or a joint — affects the ability of the rats’ arteries to grow and shrink. Over time, that causes damage that raises the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Cynthia Hallett, president of American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, stated, “I’m seeing a parallel between this argument that, ‘Gee, we just don’t have a lot of science and so therefore let’s wait and see. The tobacco companies used to say the same thing about tobacco cigarettes. It is still polite for you to say, ‘Would you mind not smoking around me?”

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