A new study from Switzerland looked at substance use among people admitted to the hospital with injuries. Not surprisingly, people who'd been drinking alcohol were more likely to get hurt than those who had not. But what about marijuana use?
Conversely, cannabis use was associated with significantly lowered risk of injury. Whereas the risk for injuries associated with the use of less than a pipe or joint’s worth were not significantly different from the on associated with no use, relative risks decreased with increasing levels of use… [BioMedCentral]
Not only were marijuana users less likely to be injured than non-users, but risk of injury actually decreased with larger doses. It's incredible. But my point here isn’t that the more pot you smoke the safer you'll be (although that is what the data suggests). It was a small sample and I kind of doubt that continued research would confirm a massive reduction in risk of injury among marijuana users.
What matters here is that marijuana clearly doesn't raise your risk of doing something stupid and busting your head open or whatever. What better indication of this could there be than the fact that people who show up all bloody at the emergency room are disproportionately not high on pot?
The researchers note that marijuana use may sometimes take place in safer environments than alcohol use and that marijuana users as a group might be more careful to avoid risks while under the influence. I'm sure both of these points are correct, but to really sum all this up: marijuana just doesn’t make you do dumb shit.
The widely-disseminated notion that marijuana leads to impaired judgment is simply false. Thus, I'm tempted to conclude that much of the propaganda aimed at associating marijuana with risk-taking behaviors has been motivated by cynicism on the part of our opposition, namely to the effect that they recognized -- and sought to preemptively obscure -- the relative safety of the drug.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me in the marijuana debate is the extent to which anti-pot propaganda is not only false, but is in fact often the precise opposite of the truth.
Read full study here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-9-40.pdf
by Scott Morgan
Posted in Chronicle Blog