According to a 20-year study [pdf] federally funded by the National Institute for Drug Abuse and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, marijuana, the illicit substance grown naturally from the earth that around 100 people every hour are arrested for possessing, doesn't harm your lungs. So what was true in 1972, 1995, and 1999, remains true today! We're awaiting the emergency press conference in the Rose Garden, and a tipster tells us that Burning Spear's tour bus has appeared on Pennsylvania Ave.

Researchers focused on over 5,000 subjects, male and female, black and white, in a handful of US cities who reported to be regular marijuana users. Around 37% of the subjects stated they were regular marijuana users, meaning they used marijuana a few times a month. Many of them were also tobacco smokers: guess which substance is worse for you?

Scientists were still unsure why marijuana has so little effect on the lungs. Marijuana researcher Dr. Donald Tashkin tells the AP that it may be the THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, which helps fight inflammation and may counteract the effects of more irritating chemicals in the drug."

Another theory is that "marijuana users tend to breathe in deeply when they inhale a joint, which some researchers think might strengthen lung tissue."

When will New York City finally get those fancy lung gyms that California has been enjoying for years?