For decades, social scientists, doctors and policymakers have been asking the question if marijuana is harmful. A conclusive answer to the question may elude us for more time, but according to a new study released on Thursday, the pot is not entirely safe, but in general terms, not more harmful compared to alcohol. The National Academies of Sciences, on Thursday, released a report on health impact of the pot confirming the medicinal benefits and dispelling the common myth that it is patently harmful. The conclusion was reached after reviewing over 10,000 scientific abstracts. The review also did not find any link between lung cancer and smoking marijuana. Beneficial effects also included treatment of nausea induced by chemotherapy and multiple sclerosis. On the other side, the study did not find any link with pot use and mortality, deaths caused by overdose, or accidents while on the job. The report further stated that the claim of the federal government that marijuana has ‘no medicinal value’ has now been negated and therefore clearly undermine the decision of the federal government to classify the pot under schedule 1. Schedule 1 deals with substances that have no medical value. The report confirms several medical benefits of the pot. Therefore, the report adds that there is no justification or rationale for the current marijuana prohibition policy. Several myths associated with the pot have also been contradicted by the report. However, the report did link to respiratory problems consequent to smoking marijuana but those problems improved once the individual stopped using the product. Thankfully, a wide range of ‘edibles’ have been developed by the pot industry. Other foods have also been infused with THC or psychoactive components in marijuana.
There is also inadequate or no evidence to link marijuana use to mortality on various counts. Similarly, the report also does not link between marijuana use and aggressive/violent behavior and/or use of other illegal drugs. Further, many of the findings in the report were included in the earlier report in 1999.
Essentially, the report concludes that marijuana is not entirely harmless but on comparative terms it is not as harmful as some of the other regulated products for adult use. Opponents of pot legalization may dispute the conclusion of the report which says that marijuana is objectively less harmful