Smoking marijuana can suppress the body's immune system, which explains why pot-smokers are more susceptible than non-smokers to certain cancers and infections, according to a new study.I won't be holding my breath for the legalization ideologues to slow their efforts.
This effect of marijuana is due to chemicals in the drug that fire up the body's production of immune system cells called myeloid-derived suppressor cells. While most immune system cells are protective — fighting infections and
cancers to keep a person healthy — these cells suppress the immune system, keeping it in check, according to the study.
'Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs of abuse worldwide, and it is already believed to suppress
immune functions, making the user more susceptible to infections and some types of cancer,' Prakash Nagarkatti, a microbiology and
pathology professor at the University of South Carolina, said in a statement.