If all news stories are to be believed just because they are published, the increase in marijuana use for both medical and recreational reasons has also increased the crime rate in the United States, caused myriad health complications for hundreds of thousands of people, and even caused many deaths. However, if you are familiar with the research regarding marijuana use, you know that cannabis is not the killer you might think (or have been told) it is.
Although there have been cases of death where marijuana has been in the system of the deceased, there have been no reports of deaths caused by an overdose of this potent herb. Several different studies have shown that for someone to fatally overdose on marijuana, either accidentally or intentionally, he would need to consume approximately 1000 times the amount of an effective dose amount of cannabis for it to potentially cause death.
Granted, a sufficient amount could vary significantly from person to person, but another study showed that if the average marijuana user would have to consume (by smoking, eating, or any other method) around 1500 pounds of the plant within a fifteen-minute time frame to even come close to death. Even the most dedicated imbiber could not accomplish this feat.
In addition to the claim that marijuana use can lead to overdose-related deaths, some people also say that regular use can lead to long-term health problems such as lung cancer and high blood pressure. Again, there has been no research to prove that marijuana use alone causes health issues. For example, a person who consumes marijuana may have a heart attack, but using the drug did not cause the attack. A more likely culprit is a previously-undiagnosed heart condition that was exacerbated by the temporary acceleration of the heartbeat after marijuana use.
There have been some deaths reported where marijuana was a possible contributing factor, especially when vehicles are involved. It is true that driving while using cannabis in any form increases the probability of an accident. However, the same holds true for alcohol, prescription drugs, and even exhaustion. For people to blame the drug for their carelessness is a simple case of someone wanting to avoid responsibility. The fact is, no one should be using any mind-altering substance while driving, nor should he drive while sleep-deprived. In cases like this, you should attribute the accident to the person who chose to drove impaired in any way rather than on the substance used.
Regardless of the many adverse reports about the potential death toll rung by the use of marijuana, the drug actually helps people far more than it hurts them. There are many medical benefits to marijuana, including pain management and lessening of nausea associated with chemotherapy treatments. Cannabis in many forms has been successfully used to treat some seizure disorders and can also diminish insomnia and chronic pain. Therefore, marijuana is not the killer you think it is and is, in fact, a useful drug that can help you in many ways.