Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know

By Jonathan P. Caulkins; Angela Hawken et al. | Go to book overview

5
WHAT ARE THE RISKS
OF USING MARIJUANA?
Marijuana use has risks. Some are well established; some are probably real; some turn out to be mostly imaginary. The key domains include:
marijuana dependence and creating a need for treatment
overdose, fatal and nonfatal
emphysema and other respiratory problems
cancer
secondhand smoke
increasing the likelihood of future hard drug use (both the “gateway effect” among youth and the effect of marijuana dependence; see chapter 11)
impaired mental health
adverse education and employment outcomes
automobile crashes
effect of parental use on children

Why is it difficult to measure the consequences of marijuana use?

Estimating the extent of marijuana-related damage to users, their families, their neighbors, and the wider public is complex.

The hard truth is that the scientific community has not reached a consensus on many of these questions, so both sides

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