Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. However, things are changing quickly with marijuana turning to be mainstream and considered legal for recreational use in Washington and Colorado. 21 other states also allow you to keep and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Meanwhile, legalization campaigns are becoming stronger in other states, including California, Oregon, and Alaska. Many people are still against the legalization of this drug. Before you decide to take a side, it is important to know exactly how many people have died from weed. Keep reading to find out more about it.
How Many People Have Died from Weed?
The short answer is that weed itself does not kill people but the use of it can cause side effects which may lead to tragic death.
The proponents of the legalization of marijuana have been supporting it for so many years because there was no information available about death rate because of its uses. They even say that it is much safer than alcohol. Some studies have also added this argument. For example:
- In a study conducted in California involving 65,177 men and women between 15 and 49 years of age, it was found after 10 years that marijuana users died no sooner than those who did not smoke it.
- Another study looked at 45,450 Swedish army conscripts between 18 and 20 years of age. It was found after 15 years that both users and nonusers had similar life expectancy.
However, it all changed in 2014 when there were deaths linked to marijuana use. A case reported on February 2014 showed links of death with the use of weed. Marijuana killed two young men in Germany – DailyMail, CBS news, and other websites published the news. Toxicological examinations confirmed that both men were under the influence of marijuana when they died. They found traces of THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis. They looked for other causes of death but later concluded that both men died due to cardiovascular complications caused mainly by smoking marijuana.
In one of these deaths, a 23-year old man died when he was using public transportation. The man has some marijuana in his pockets. The other death was of a 28-year old man. He was found dead in his home while using cannabis. Besides these two cases, there were reports about another British woman named Gemma Moss who died due to poisoning caused by marijuana overdose.
What it suggests is that there are certain statistics about how many people have died from weed, but the proponents of legalization ask for more evidence.
Potential Health Dangers of Weed Use
Weed is dangerous mainly because of the presence of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) in it. The chemical connects with a receptor on nerve cells in your brain and creates an altered sense of pleasure. This may lead to certain issues.Instead of asking how many people have died from weed, you should conduct some research on serious health dangers of weed use, which can lead to death indirectly.
1. Heart Rate
Your heart starts beating 20-100% faster when you smoke marijuana. Once your heart rate increases, it stays like that for up to three hours. The use of marijuana can also change heart rhythms. It is due to this reason that weed users are 4.8% more likely to develop heart problems and have a heart attack during the first hour after smoking. People with heart problems are at a greater risk.
Just like smoking tobacco, smoking weed is not good for your lungs. Its smoke can irritate your lungs and cause issues such as mucus, daily cough, chest colds, and risks of lung infections. It may also increase the risk for lung cancer. Certain cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke are also present in marijuana smoke. Lung tissues of some regular weed smokers have shown signs of pre-cancerous changes.
3. Mental Health
A number of studies have confirmed that there is a link between marijuana use and certain mental disorders. Smoking weed regularly and in high doses can cause a temporary psychotic reaction. This may lead to hallucinations with an impaired sense of perception. People with schizophrenia may experience their symptoms becoming worse after smoking weed. There are also connections between marijuana use and issues such as anxiety, depression, personality disturbances, and suicidal thoughts.