Marijuana is not associated with fatal overdose. In this regard, some argue that it is safer to use than alcohol. Unfortunately, research has repeatedly demonstrated a strong correlative relationship between marijuana use and unintended injury or death.
Accidental Death: Sudden deaths associated with marijuana use typically come in the form of accidental injury due to impairment or hallucination. The high level of THC found in today’s marijuana does not only diminish physical coordination and cognitive function, it distorts the manner in which the brain receives and processes information. This produces disorientation and interferes with decision making skills. It is also common for users to combine alcohol with marijuana. The synergistic effect produced by this combination can be very dangerous.
The wide range of accidental injury and deaths associated with marijuana use spans from car crashes to drownings. Because marijuana affects the human body for up to four hours following each dose, many users return to “normal” activities prematurely. They resume driving, or engage in other high-demand activities, despite the fact that their central nervous system remains impaired.
Adverse Reaction: Because it is an illicit product, the content of street marijuana varies greatly. Some dealers and distributers adulterate their marijuana in an effort to develop a reputation for their brand. These adulterants can include anything from formaldehyde (embalming fluid), to other drugs like phencyclidine. This practice can result in allergic reactions or poisonings.
Pulmonary Disease: According to the American Cancer Society, marijuana smokers have a cancer rate two to three times higher than those who do not smoke marijuana. There are about 400 chemicals and chemical compounds found in marijuana smoke, at least 33 of which are known carcinogens. Marijuana delivers these tars at levels which are four times higher than that of tobacco smoke. Cancer, emphysema, heart disease and many other ailments have been linked to the inhalation of these harmful chemicals.
See also: Addiction, Car Crashes, Suicide, Crime, etc. found on the “
Impact of Marijuana” page.