The debate over how safe marijuana is has been going on for years, but according to a recent study, you are 114 times more likely to die from an alcohol overdose than smoking marijuana.
This report was published in Scientific Reports Journal, and compared the risks associated with ten substances using the margin of exposure approach. The ten substances tested included marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamines. According to the Washinton Post, the findings indicated that at the level of individual use, alcohol was the deadliest substance, followed by heroin and cocaine.
These findings reinforce a study from ten years ago that was done under a slightly different methodology. Basically, this new study is just a reaffirmation of previous findings more than anything else.
Newsweek reported that the findings also indicated the risk of marijuana may have been overestimated in the past. In contrast, the risk of alcohol may have been commonly underestimated.
Professor David Nutt, chair of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and former chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said as follows.
“The results make perfect sense. The ultra-low mortality of cannabis has long been recognized with health harms greatly exaggerated. I would recommend that cannabis be reinstated as a medicine as recognized by the House of Lords report in 2001, as the clear harms are well outweighed by the health benefits.”
The study suggested that marijuana be legalized and the distribution regulated, as opposed to the widespread practice of prohibition. The report also cautioned that regular use of hard drugs was not safer than moderate drinking due to the environmental hazards associated with these drugs, such as dirty needles.
Many people have been fighting for marijuana to be legalized in all states, but the fight is also a worldwide one. Marijuana is still illegal in most European countries, as well. Even the Netherlands, which is known for its liberal stance on the drug, highly regulates its distribution, by making the sale of it only legal in licensed coffee shops. Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001, meaning that a person caught in possession of any substance would not be prosecuted.
Several celebrities are known for their use of marijuana, but the most notable celeb is Snoop Dogg. He raps about it in almost all his songs, wears clothing with the marijuana leaf, and his music videos show use of the drug by the rap star. Snoop is not the only celebrity showing his support for the drug. The Inquisitr reported that Miley Cyrus was even speaking out about the use of marijuana. Cyrus said as follows.
“I think alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana – people can be mad at me for saying that, but I don’t care. I’ve seen a lot of people spiral down with alcohol, but I’ve never seen that happen with weed.”
Considering all the recent national debate over legalizing marijuana, this study could not have been done at a better time. Now it’s just a waiting game to see how lawmakers and the public will respond to this information.
[Photo courtesy of David McNew/Getty Images]