Doctors Say “Smoking Cannabis Raises COVID-19 Risk”
If you’re smoking marijuana to ease stress during the coronavirus pandemic, health professionals say you may want to reconsider. The American Lung Association and local doctors worry about the rising number of people smoking marijuana, even if people are only using a moderate to low amount.
Marty Brueggemann, the Chief medical officer at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital said smoking causes inflammation in the lungs which could reduce your ability to fight COVID-19 which is a respiratory illness. Smoking marijuana, even occasionally, can increase your risk for more severe complications.
Brueggemann said choosing to smoke during this pandemic is like drive home in difficult conditions after having a drink at restaurant.
“Let’s say on the way to the restaurant you pass two speed traps and it starts snowing, now as you’re thinking about having that one drink you realize you have to drive though two speed traps and a blizzard to get home, you may take a different approach to having that glass of wine,” Brueggmann said.
Sales of Marijuana are still up in the Yakima valley according to several pot shops, many of whom are first time users.
Brueggmann and the ALA hope people will find other methods to relieve anxiety.