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Secondhand Smoke from Marijuana: Is It Fair At Bars?

Now that the recreational use of marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, the secondhand smoke from the drug has also brought new questions to the surface that need to be voted on in the state.  Polls were taken to determine the state’s stance on whether smoking marijuana should be permitted in public places like bars, or if it should be confined to the smokers’ homes and designated marijuana-smoking public places.  Out of all the people involved in the poll, 66% voted that marijuana should be confined to the homes of those that smoke it.  Despite this, 54% were still backing up the law that allows marijuana as a legal drug.

Secondhand Smoke from Marijuana

A significant amount of residents from other states were perplexed as to why people weren’t in favor of marijuana use being allowed at public places in Colorado.  Taking a look at the dangers of secondhand smoke from marijuana, it might make more sense.  However, since marijuana has been illegal for so long, aside from in Washington, Colorado, and the states that allow it for medical use, there is not enough adequate research pertaining to the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke.

“We are getting lots of inquiries from people about the drift from marijuana smoke and what it is doing to them and their children,” Carrie Nyssen, Regional Director of Advocacy and Air Quality for the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific. “We just don’t know the damage marijuana smoke can do to our lungs.”

Despite minimal information in regards to how potentially harmful the secondhand smoke may be, professional research has proven, as stated by The American Lung Association, that marijuana smoke has more carcinogens when compared the smoke from cigarettes containing nicotine.  Carcinogens are defined as substances that cause or are linked to cancer.  Cigarettes themselves cause about 50,000 deaths per year, so the frequency and severity of detrimental damage that secondhand marijuana smoke may contribute to a person can be estimated as even greater.  These can be scary facts because if marijuana were to be permitted in public places like bars and outdoors, it would be affecting other people who may be non-smokers or even younger children.  Dr. Leslie Walker, who is a doctor at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, has added the common-sense idea that any kind of smoke – whether from cigarettes, marijuana, wood, paper, anything at all – that gets breathed in by children or adults cannot be healthy, to say the least.

More Problems

It should be taken into account that there are also other, however minor, problems with secondhand smoke from marijuana, like the smell for other people and those who may be in recovery from marijuana addiction.  If someone is not a pot smoker or someone has been addicted to marijuana, they may not particularly enjoy the smell.  This could be enough for a bar to refuse allowance of marijuana-smoking in the states where the drug is legal because it may repel certain, non-smoking customers.  How could secondhand smoke from marijuana be safe in these places when the only little bit of research claims that there are more carcinogens in marijuana smoke than tobacco smoke?  At least for now, a majority of Colorado has voted against the allowance of marijuana smoking in places like bars.  This will allow more time for the needed research to be done on the effects of secondhand smoke from marijuana.

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