You’ve heard it before, and we’ve published it as fact: Marijuana does not lead to death in humans.
But is it true?
After Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson repeated it, PolitiFact and its notoriously accurate fact checkers got to work.
“I just think that so much research and development needs to take place that hasn’t taken place,” he said during a CNN town hall earlier this month. “And that marijuana products deal – or compete directly with legal prescription drugs that statistically kill 100,000 people a year, and there are no documented deaths due to marijuana.”
What sayeth PolitiFact?
“It’s very difficult to overdose on marijuana’s active ingredient,” the publication says. ” … Additionally, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration drug sheet for marijuana reports that no deaths from marijuana overdose have ever been recorded.”
However, PolitiFact notes that while the any toxicity in marijuana hasn’t been known to kill, cannabis mixed with other drugs (alcohol, for one) can produce deadly behavior, like driving your car into a tree. In those cases, people didn’t overdose on pot, but they died nonetheless.
It’s almost how people have died from using LSD not because of any physiological effects but because it inspired them to fly (off buildings).
“The main risk from marijuana is from the risky or stupid things people do after using it, such as driving, rather than from any toxic effects of the substance itself, which is remarkably safe,” said Dr. Jerome Avorn, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The more you know, people. The more you know.