Study Finds Marijuana Much Safer Than Alcohol and Tobacco

Toke on this: the least risky way to wind down after a stressful day may just be marijuana, according to one study.

Researchers looked at the margin of exposure ¡ª a comparison between a typical dose of a drug and its lethal dose ¡ª in several recreational drugs as well as alcohol to measure each substance’s mortality risk. The results found that marijuana was 114 times safer than alcohol, which was the deadliest of the bunch, measuring higher on the mortality scale than drugs like ecstasy, heroin, and cocaine, as well as tobacco.

While the fact that marijuana may provide fewer health risks than other drugs has been shown before, this was the first study to measure just how much safer it may be. Of course, this new study is no reason to start up a new pot-smoking habit, and don’t forget the potential health benefits of moderate drinking. And while the authors argue for marijuana regulation over prohibition, they do caution that their study didn’t look at long-term or behavioral risks of chronic use in any of the illegal drugs tested. Even so, the results of this study are a surprising quantification of just how detrimental to your health many types of hobbies can be, both legal and otherwise.

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