Mortality due to cannabis is nonexistent. Despite political assertions that marijuana is a dangerous drug, there are no cases of death directly caused by cannabis use in the entire history of human civilization. That stunning fact is further elucidated by current studies.
In 1997, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center in Australia announced that the health of long-term marijuana users is virtually no different from that of the general population.[i] Another 1997 study from health care giant, Kaiser Permanente, published in the American Journal of Health followed 65,000 subjects during a ten-year period and concluded, “marijuana use was not associated with mortality in women.” The report concluded that the association of marijuana with AIDS deaths probably reflects higher rates of marijuana use among the homosexual community, a group at higher risk for AIDS death irrespective of marijuana use. The comprehensive Kaiser Permanente study also found that men who smoke marijuana experience progressively diminishing mortality rates the longer they smoke.[ii] In comparison, deaths due to errors in the use of prescription medications are the second most rapidly increasing cause of death after AIDS.[iii]
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, “More than 65 million Americans have tried marijuana, the use of which is not associated with increased mortality.”[iv]
Related sections: Replacement of Medications, Toxicity.
[i] “Long term marijuana users suffer few health problems, Australian study indicates.” NORML News, 1998, Source: http://www.norml.org
[ii] The Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application, Vol. 15, No. 11, p. 7, November 1997, Electronic Collection: A20104041
[iii] “Deaths from drug errors rise sharply for out patients.” The Seattle Times, February 28, 1998
[iv] Annas, “Reefer madness—The federal response to California’s medical-marijuana law.” The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 337, No. 6, August 7, 1997