Health Risks of Marijuana: What Health Risks?
OK, we’ve all heard that smoking pot is less dangerous than drinking alcohol, a claim that is supported by Richard Miller, professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who is quoted–“No question about it. It’s absolutely clear that marijuana is much less dangerous than alcohol.”–in the Los Angeles Times. But how dangerous is it, exactly? The Times reports that people who smoke heavily–four or five times a day- yikes! have trouble learning and remembering things, and that young people who smoke appear to be more prone to psychosis. Several studies conducted in the last 15 years fail to nail down increased risks of heart disease and other ailments, so we’re good right? Not exactly. Timothy Naimi, an associate professor of medicine and community health sciences at Boston University School of Medicine, tells the Times that saying something is safer than alcohol is not exactly a recommendation: alcohol kills 80,000 people a year. Naimi suggests that the dangers of smoking pot will become more apparent as the drug is legalized. He also points out that the marijuana sold today is five times more potent than the marijuana he grew up with. Read more in the L.A. Times.