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Toxic Effects of Marijuana
Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D.
The smoked use of cannabis is not without hazards which should be clearly recognized so as to permit appropriate action to avoid or minimize these untoward effects.
The smoke of cannabis is irritating to the mouth, throat, trachea, bronchii, and lungs. The level of irritation is comparable to that of tobacco with the level of irritation dependent upon the amount of exposure, heat of the smoke and degree of impurity. Because of it's illegality it is not yet possible to scientifically document the possible connection with actual lung disease.
For similar reasons it is not possible to determine possible adverse effects upon passive exposure to marijuana smoke.
There are some people that are allergic to marijuana smoke and develop hives or asthmatic symptoms when exposed to it.
Cannabis when smoked may cause confusion and disorientation in the inexperienced or sensitive user.
Dr. Mikuriya's Credentials
For the past twenty five years Dr. Mikuriya studied the effects of marijuana professionally in capacities of drug abuse treatment program director, research psychiatrist for the federal government, visitor to endemic areas of use, general clinician treating acute psychiatric in-patients and outpatients.
Politically, he was on the board of directors of the California Marijuana Initiatives of 1972 - 74, Amorphia and an advisor to its successor, the National Organization to Reform the Marijuana Laws (NORML).
A graduate of Reed College, Mikuriya completed his medical education at Temple University Medical School, Philadelphia. He received his psychiatric specialty training at Oregon State Hospital in Salem and Mendocino State Hospital in northern California. After serving at the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute at Princeton, Mikuriya was appointed first director of marijuana research at the National Institute of Mental Health, Chevy Chase, Maryland in 1967. Since then he has been in private psychiatric practice in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. Mikuriya has published numerous papers on marijuana and is the editor and publisher of Marijuana Medical Papers.
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Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Major Studies of Drug and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - The Report of the US National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
Licit and Illicit Drugs
Short History of the Marijuana Laws
The Drug Hang-Up
Congressional Transcripts of the Hearings for the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937
Frequently Asked Questions About Drugs
Basic Facts About the Drug War
Charts and Graphs about Drugs
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Guide to Heroin - Frequently Asked Questions About Heroin
LSD, Mescaline, and Psychedelics
Drugs and Driving
Children and Drugs
Drug Abuse Treatment Resource List
American Society for Action on Pain
Let Us Pay Taxes
Marijuana Business News
Reefer Madness Collection
Medical Marijuana Throughout History
Drug Legalization Debate
Legal History of American Marijuana Prohibition
Marijuana, the First 12,000 Years
DEA Ruling on Medical Marijuana
Legal References on Drugs
GAO Documents on Drugs
Response to the Drug Enforcement Agency
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