Prior to 2020, the Lung Health Foundation operated as the Ontario Lung Association. Enjoy this content from our archives.
With the legalization of cannabis, Canada can become a world leader in more openly and effectively funding research that explores the impacts of its use — both recreational and medical — on public health.
Not pursuing this type of research because of who may be involved could shut down entire lines of inquiry, continuing to leave us in the dark. Rather than advocating for a prohibition on industry-funded research, we should rely on ethics standards that guide the scientific research world with respect to how research is funded, conducted and published.
These standards require full transparency concerning how funds are used, full disclosure as to the source of funding, and administration of the funds at arms-length from the funder.
Cannabis-funded lung health research should not be treated any differently than other types of funded research. The research should be immunized from any conflict of interest, the funding partnership should never compromise the integrity of the work, and the objectives should always be in the public health interest.
The Lung Association — Ontario certainly understands that smoking tobacco or cannabis can harm lung health. But, that concern can only be legitimately communicated to the public through quality research.
We need to know the precise effects of using cannabis on lung health and whether using cannabis in its medicinal forms — either smoking or other forms of consumption — could potentially benefit those with chronic illness. It is only by supporting this type of research that we can help individuals make informed decisions about their own health.