As Professor Beasley explains, smoking cannabis is far more harmful to human health than smoking tobacco cigarettes. In terms of cancer risk, smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes, and in terms of the risk of lung disease, smoking one cannabis joint is the equivalent of smoking up to 5 cigarettes.
Given the significant health and safety risks associated with cannabis use, why don’t our health officials and community leaders speak out more strongly about the dangers of this drug? Is their silence the reason that New Zealand has one of the highest reported rates of cannabis use in the world, with about three-quarters of the population having tried cannabis by the age of 25?
Why don’t the public service advertising campaigns that highlight the risk of lung cancer from smoking cigarettes warn young people of the dangers of smoking cannabis?
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