According to a report published recently in Scientific Reports, cannabis is safer than alcohol, tobacco and a number of other substances that it was compared to. The report also suggested that regulation of marijuana is probably a more reasonable approach to the drug than prohibition—which is what a number of American States are already beginning to understand.
The report (Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach) compared the lethality of ten common types of drug. Among those on the list were: heroin, cannabis, tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, methadone and amphetamine. The researchers discovered that cannabis is the least lethal of all the drugs that they compared.
This is not really surprising, as previous research has found that marijuana is a much safer recreational drug than any other. However, it does add to the body of research in favor of legalization and regulation of cannabis. When compared with a legal drug such as alcohol, which has a much higher death rate, it is startling how much safer cannabis is. Incidentally, the researchers found that alcohol is more deadly than heroin.
The researchers say that their results indicate that policies should be developed that focus on managing the risks that are associated with tobacco and alcohol rather the the illicit drugs that they used for comparison in the study.
So why is it that still so many governments have a much more restrictive approach to cannabis than they do to other types of drugs—drugs that are proving to be much more harmful? The researchers indicated that the dangers associated with marijuana might have been very overestimated in the past, and that more current scientific understanding should now be what is used to guide policies.
One thing that has to be noted, is that in what is probably tens of thousands of years worth of cannabis plant consumption, no human death has ever been attributed to marijuana. In order to consume a fatal dose of cannabis, a person would have to have around 40,000 time the amount of THC that is found in your average joint. So basically, you’d have to smoke 40,000 joints in order to die from cannabis consumption.
While we don’t think that you should put this to the test, we are pretty certain that 40,000 joints in succession is impossible.
It’s good to know that the scientific community are working to support legalization and safe use of cannabis. If you are looking to take a 420 friendly vacation sometime soon, check out our listings at Bud and Breakfast.