By Katerina Gribkoff ‘12, News Writer
For 10,000 years, people have been smoking cannabis: it’s only been illegal for the past 100. But tobacco is the number one killer in America, beating out aids, heroine, alcohol, coke, car accidents, fires, and murders, combined. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists that cigarettes claim over 400,000 lives per year, and alcohol follows with 80,000. Even too much caffeine can help kill up to 10,000 a year, while common pain medicine kills 7,000, according to filmmaker Brett Harvey in the documentary, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High. Surprising, isn’t it? So how many deaths are caused by marijuana use each year? Hundreds? Thousands?
How about none?
Not a single death has ever been attributed to smoking marijuana, according to Dr. Grinspoon of Harvard Medical School and Daniel Denoon of WebMD, but not many people know that. Just as not many people know that smoking marijuana does not cause lung cancer, though cigarettes remain the number one cause of cancer today and are sold at pretty much every gas station in America. According to COED magazine, marijuana has actually been proven to have health benefits, relieving symptoms of PMS and migraines, and helping treatment of glaucoma, tumors, and ADD/ADHD. Biochemist Dr. Hornby tells us in The Union: The Business Behind Getting High that for marijuana to kill, someone would have to smoke about 15,000 joints in 20 minutes. That’s quite a challenge.
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