At a Paul McCartney concert at San Francisco’s ATT Park in 2010, Matthew Springer, Ph.D., wasn’t shocked to be surrounded by a haze of marijuana smoke. He was, however, amazed that the audience tolerated it without complaint.
“All of these people knew to avoid smoke from cigarettes, because the public health community has been saying that for decades,” recalled Springer, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco. But, he added, “we haven’t been given that message about marijuana smoke, so people thought that it was different – that it was somehow okay.”
Was it? Springer wondered.
Now that recreational, in addition to medical, marijuana is legal in California – thanks to the resounding approval in November of Proposition 64’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act – there is renewed urgency about seeking more information on the drug’s health effects, both positive and negative.
UCSF scientists recognize marijuana’s contradictory status: the drug has significant proven and potential therapeutic