Marijuana does have negative health effects. The marijuana debate is so clouded in group think on both sides of the issue that one side thinks it is the worst thing ever and the other side thinks there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is my goal to once again attempt to tell it like it is and let you make your own judgment. I will tell you now that I am going to conclude that while marijuana is bad for the user and that heavy marijuana users are taking unnecessary risks I feel that a moderate user of marijuana is at less risk than a moderate tobacco smoker or a heavy alcohol consumer.
It is going to appear as if I am describing a very dangerous drug at times, but if I was writing a similar article on alcohol or tobacco I believe that it would look just as bad if not worse. This is because I want to avoid oversimplifying the issue or ignoring facts. I am going to start by discussing general conclusions of medical researchers in terms of marijuana’s health effects and then I will go into a detailed examination using the 1999 Institute of Medicine’s Marijuana as Medicine: Assessing the Scientific Base.
Marijuana Health Effects (Hazards)
We currently know more about marijuana and its health hazards than most prescription drugs. According to Dr. Lester Grinspoon, in 5,000 years of medical and non-medical use marijuana has not caused a single overdose death. In general it has much less side effects than most prescription.
Dr. Grinspoon is careful to point out that the most hazardous aspect of marijuana usage is the smoke inhaled by the user. This is an interesting point because most marijuana users are not exposed to as much smoke as a tobacco user, and only smoke as much marijuana as necessary to reach their desired effects. Because of that fact, marijuana that is engineered to have a higher level of THC will be safer to the user since less volume of smoke will be required to reach the same desired “high.” Using devices like a water bong or a vaporizer can decrease the associated health.
Dr Lynn Zimmer and Dr. John Morgan in their book Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts state that after decades of research there is still little evidence of significant hazards for the moderate marijuana user. The most serious health risk that a heavy user of marijuana faces is probably.
Even the World Health Organization allegedly slanted a report they made on marijuana and health risks. Robin Room and Susan Bondy of the Addiction Research Foundation of Toronto and an Australian Wayne Hall presented their scientific research to the WHO that suggested that marijuana might pose fewer health risks than tobacco or alcohol. The WHO chose to not include this research in their report. Room said that he and his fellow researchers concluded that even if the use of marijuana increased substantially in the future, the drug’s health impact was