A new report shows that, perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of people who died from overdoses of cannabis has actually remained the same for several years, including 2015. Now we know, and the number is significant, especially with marijuana now legal in some form throughout 23 states.
It’s 0. Zero. Zilch, zip, nada.
Because there is no lethal dose of cannabis! (Well technically for all you pot geeks out there you would need to smoke roughly 1,500 pounds of ganja in 15 minutes to technically overdose. That has never been done, so no one really knows for sure)
Of course, the same cannot be said for other substances, both legal and illicit. Huge numbers of Americans die every year from prescription and illegal drug overdoses.
According to a report on Huffington Post citing figures from the CDC, a total of 17,465 people died from overdosing on illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine last year, while 25,760 people died from overdosing on prescription drugs, including painkillers and tranquilizers like Valium.
These numbers represent for some health officials a problem of pandemic proportions.
Opioid overdose levels rose so sharply in 2014 — spiking 14 percent from the previous year — the CDC has described the levels as “epidemic.”
“More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record,” the CDC reported earlier this month.
Alcohol, which is even more accessible and cultural sanctioned, is killing Americans at a rate not seen in about 35 years, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal data.
The more than 30,700 Americans who died from alcohol-induced causes last year doesn’t include alcohol-related deaths like drunk driving or accidents; if it did, the death toll would be more than two and a half times higher.
According to a widely cited 2006 report in American Scientist, “alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances.”
While it is impossible to administer a lethal dose of cannabis, “drugged driving” and other already-risky behavior can be amplified by the effects of marijuana, potentially leading to fatal accidents.
Still, the worst taking too much cannabis will cause, if anything, is a pretty bad trip.