Editor, Daily Nexus,

One of the arguments against the use of marijuana for any reason is its carcinogenic potential. Prohibition supporters often cite that marijuana smoke has even more cancer-causing compounds than does tobacco smoke. However, this reasoning is incomplete.

Recent scientific studies have shown that there are cancer-causing effects that are specifically due to nicotine. In fact, nicotine, through receptors in the airways, protects cells damaged by the carcinogens found in tobacco smoke from dying. Cells that are genetically damaged by carcinogens and protected from dying are the cells that go on to become cancer cells.

Hence, consistent with epidemiological studies, tobacco causes lung cancer whereas marijuana does not.