"Marijuana doesn't kill anyone."

I just read an article in the Huffington Post about the extremely questionable history of marijuana policy in this country. It repeated a claim I’d like to examine: Marijuana never killed anybody.

Okay, if you mean on its own, nobody’s liver ever shut down because he fired up too many bowls of Panama Red. Bourbon can’t make that claim. But most alcohol deaths (at least the ones that involve people I knew personally) involve a drunk driver, not Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas. Does stoned driving not count in the “no marijuana deaths” tally? Have stoned drivers never killed themselves or anybody else? What’s the straight dope?

I’m sure they have. But, for what it’s worth, government studies have established that marijuana impaired driving is much less dangerous that drunk driving. (stoned people are more careful, drunk people are more reckless). (it’s not recommended. Stoned people can, of course, be dangerous, for obvious reasons)

What people making the claim mean is that there is no lethal dose of marijuana. Many people die of overdoses of many drugs, including alcohol. Not pot (they claim).

Does stoned driving not count in the “no marijuana deaths” tally?

I believe deaths that are the result of drunk driving are classified as a “alcohol related” deaths and not deaths by alcohol. I believe accidents involving marijuana would be classified the same way.

My friend ran into a pole stoned out of his gourd one night. He was only going around 5 mph in a 35 so he survived.

Smoking it certainly contributes to lung cancer.

Yes, it almost certainly means that you cannot die from direct usage of marijuana. This is primarily because the life support functions of the nervous system are not very sensitive to the compounds present in marijuana but are sensitive to ethanol, opiates, etc.

I doubt accidental fires due to falling asleep while smoking are counted in tobacco fatality figures.

It’s possible to crash and die while on pot. Not terribly common though.


The TV staions like to sensationalize:
http://legacy.kgw.com/story/news/local/marijuana/2015/08/19/fatal-crashes-involving-marijuana-double-washington/32029727/
Neither of these stories mentions crashes involving cell-phone impaired driving, which have also been on the rise.

This is it. From the American Lung Association:

It goes on in detail, of course.

Here’s a specific study:

Archival link

Marijuana causes lung cancer.

Both tobacco and alcohol are obviously worse long term, and even short term, compared to other illegal substances:
[ul]
[li]You can’t OD on pot[/li][li]You won’t spend the rent money on pot[/li][li]You won’t rob or steal for the money to buy pot[/li][li]You won’t not eat or sleep for days because of pot[/li][li]You won’t even miss a day of work because you smoked pot[/li][/ul]
In terms of ‘hard drugs’ marijuana is almost a joke. And as far as it causing cancer, common sense tells you that it is not remotely comparable to tobacco just in terms of the tiny amounts even a regular pot smoker ingests compared to say a two-pack-a-day tobacco smoker. You simply cannot inhale 20-40 joints worth of marijuana a day. Not even close (and for the same reasons the ‘risk’ of second-hand ***tobacco ***smoke is bullshit as well).

In terms of public health, worrying about pot is like worrying about trans-fats. There are much, much bigger things to worry about. Texting while driving is probably a million times more dangerous than marijuana. And I don’t even care for it, just makes me feel confused and wanna puke…

Yeah, I’ve met someone who couldn’t afford a bus ticket home because they spent their money on pot-related paraphernalia. I didn’t know them enough to inquire about their living situation, but I can believe someone coming up short.

I’m sure someone would, but then other drugs don’t necessarily cause people to be criminal.

I think you’re probably right, but we can’t operate on “common sense”/“obviously” One joint != one cigarette necessarily.

Did you read my links?

It’s not hard to drink enough to die of alcohol poisoning. It’s impossible to smoke enough marijuana to die of marijuana poisoning.

Especially since you’ll die of lung cancer first.

OK, maybe not.

Maybe you’ll die of emphysema.

I’ve known dope smokers who smoked 40 to 50 bong-loads a day. It’s not uncommon, and there’s no way a bong is any less smokey than a cigarette.

I have seen that government study. There are also many contradictory studies.

Time Magazine: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/10/study-smoking-marijuana-not-linked-with-lung-damage/

Has anyone ever OD’d on cigarette smoke?

If the argument that cigarette smoking results in X number of deaths because it leads to long term health conditions that cause death, then I’d think marijuana is potentially deadly in the same way (in smaller numbers).

Maybe pot doesn’t kill people, but the Mexican drug cartels that bring it to you certainly do.

But, you say, that’s because it is illegal. If it were legalized, then it wouldn’t kill anyone. But it isn’t, and so it does.

You could just as easily say the farm machines used in raising corn, wheat, barley, and hops for whiskey and beer certainly kill people. Those things aren’t even illegal.

I like that. Freedom to raise corn, wheat and barley… the freedom to smoke cigarettes… the freedom to drive a car… ingest plant substances…

Check this out. I hereby declare freedom to be a dangerous tool. That’s because we can more or less measure the extent of a culture’s freedom by counting the number of dead people who die as a result of said freedom. Conclusion: the more people who die, (especially children) the more free we are. Does this sound in any way weird?

Check this out. One of the most hepatotoxic substances known to man, acetaminophen, contained in Alka Seltzer, Anacin, etc., and which is thought responsable for more than 50,000 deaths annually, is available over the counter. Following this train of thought, then so also should a heroin-cocaine combo speedball prefilled injection (I’ll add to that a touch of meth). Right?

Statistically, acetaminophen kills more people each year than oxycontin and vicodin and all the other garbage combined. At the same time theee most dangerous, intoxicating, and also hepatotoxic drug by far, alcohol, is perfectly legal and readily available. You don’t even have to reach over a counter. Funnily enough, alcohol is the only drug that actually does what drug war propagandists claim other drugs do.

Here’s the rub. My constitutional God-given right to do something, something which might easily be considered risky, stupid or dangerous, is worth millions of dead people. As well, adrenalin sports like skydiving, bungee jumping and base jumping are perfectly legal; I have yet to hear any serious talk of banning them.

How many lives would be saved by lowering the speed limits on all roads everywhere to 15 mph? The thing is, it appears to be worth hundreds of thousands of dead folks, including precious children, for the convenience of going faster than a horse. Haven’t heard anyone arguing lately against this and proposing a lowering of all speed limits to 15mph and jailtime of say 10 years for infringement.

Well thank God he was stoned, or it might’ve been fatal.