norml11 - Page 59
Return to Index
5. This is a remarkable statement First= the record on marijuana
encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana i_s now used
daily by.enormous numbers of'p_ople throughout the wbrld. Estimates. suggest
that from twenty million to fifty mi]l_on°#_er_cans routinely, a.]beit _llegally,
smoke.ma;_ijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despli%e
this long history of use and the extraordinarily higi_ numbers, of social smokeffs,
there are simply oo.credible medical reports to suggestothat consuming marijuana
has caused a s_ngle death.
6. By contrast aspir#n, a commonly "used, over-the-counter medicine,
causes hundreds of deaths each year.
7. Drugs use(_ in medicine are routinely given what is ca'fled an
LD_50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals
receiving a drug wilI die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of
researchers have at%empted to determine marijuana's LDo-50 rating in test animals,
without success.- Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give an#mals
enough marijuana to induce death.
8o At present it is estimated that marijua_a's LD-50 is around
1:20,000 or l:40,OOOo In layman terms this means that _n order to induce
death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much
marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana
cigarettes weigh approximately o9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to
consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen mCnutes to induce
a lethal response.
9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot i_du(:e a lethal response as a
result of drug-related toxicity.
Return to Index