Marijuana is roughly 114 times less deadly than alcohol, according to recent findings published in the journal Scientific Reports. Of the seven drugs included in the study, alcohol was the deadliest at an individual level, followed by heroin, cocaine, tobacco, ecstasy, methamphetamines, and marijuana. Previous studies consistently ranked marijuana as the safest recreational drug, but it was not known that the discrepancy was this large.
The researchers determined the mortality risk by comparing a lethal dose of each substance with the amount typically used. Not only was marijuana the lowest of the drugs tested, but there was such a gap between its lethal and typical doses that they classified it as the only “low mortality risk” drug tested. All others were classified as “medium” or “high.”
These findings contradict the efforts of law enforcement agencies around the country which, despite pockets of decriminalization (and in some cases, legalization), typically focus heavily on marijuana-related arrests. The authors suggest that, based on the results, these agencies would benefit from shifting priorities away from illicit drugs and placing them instead on keeping things like alcohol and tobacco in check. In fact, the researchers believe marijuana to be so low-risk that they suggest a broad, regulated legalization of it in the paper.
– Read the entire article at The Verge.