How much weed does it take to kill you? With the legalization of marijuana in many states, it would seem that the pass press about the dangers of cannabis are in contradiction to so many states opening-up legalized marijuana use, both medicinally and recreationally. Many of the sensationalized articles geared toward possible marijuana related fatalities defy common sense, especially in light of the absolute plethora of deaths caused by pharmaceuticals, alcohol, tobacco, and even common overdosages H20 (AKA”water”). Upon further examination, not one, not even one death has ever been a result of an overdose of marijuana. The world and the United States is discovering, it’s not Reefer Madness across the land.
Since marijuana is now legal with a doctors prescription, and in some states, “over the counter”; perhaps it should be compared to the more harmless substances that are taken on a daily basis, such as aspirin, for instance. Aspirin is completely harmless, and even a beneficial drug if taken to prevent heart attacks or strokes, right? Wrong. Every year, over 7,600 people die from consumption of aspirin and other non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Additionally, if a statistical analysis were done of every person who was on aspirin for a headache when they committed a murder, aspirin might appear to be a leading cause, but that conclusion would obviously be dismissed as a researcher would search for a more likely common cause.
The fact is, to much of anything is harmful, whether it’s too much sugar (which is the primary cause of death for 71,382 Americans each year), too much alcohol (which causes 110,000 deaths a year) or even died from taking too much water. It is rare, but every year or two a case pops up in the press telling the sad story of a fraternity student, adult, or child that died during a hazing from consuming too much water, thus diluting their electrolytes and causing cardiac arrest. These cases always make the news for their simple weirdness factor. It is far more sensational to read about a freak accident caused by overdose of a perceptibly harmless, or perhaps even necessary substance.
So How Many People Have Actually Died From a Marijuana Overdose? Zero. Absolutely none. Although you can suffer other side effects of the drug, not one person has ever died from consuming marijuana, this may be due to the fact that it is impossible to consume enough THC to die. A 1970’s study on monkeys (not a fan of testing on animals) showed that when injected intravenously with 92 mg/kg THC, they did not die.
Currently the Merk Index lists that the LD50 of TCH for rats is 42mg/kg. This is the amount it would take for half of them to die. Remember that even the most potent bud on the market is roughly 23 percent TCH, so this would be the equivalent of a 150 lb person smoking about a half ounce of weed all at once, or perhaps smoking 5 grams of very potent hash. Any who have tried to do this will know just how difficult it is to accomplish. Basically, it’s impossible. It may, however, be possible to eat this much in this amount of time, but oral doses have a much higher LD50-730 mg/kg. It would take an almost herculean effort to overdose one’s self with THC. It would be much easier to overdose on sugar, or even water.
Of course this is not to say that people never die because of situations surrounding marijuana. Even though alcohol is definitely deadlier on the road than any other drug, including marijuana, marijuana users will want to know how much affects them, how it affects them, and consider caution when taking cannabis, such as when driving a car, operating heavy machinery, or when placed in common sense dangerous situations.
Legal Medical Marijuana States & States Pending Legalization of Medical Marijuana
As of January 2014, medical marijuana has been legalized in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The states that have boarded this contributed to this decision thus far include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
Though the use of medical marijuana has been legalized in these states, there are still rules and regulations regarding the issue. Here are the most important laws you should keep in mind:
1) In Colorado AND Washington State, marijuana is legal for both medicinal and non-medicinal uses. Both states allow adults over the age of 21 to possess up to 1 oz without a medical marijuana card.
2) In the remainder of the states, there is a limit on how much medical marijuana you can legally possess- varying by state of course.
- Alaska, Montana, Nevada: 1 oz
- Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Michigan: 2.5 oz
- California: 8 oz
- Colorado, DC, New Jersey, Vermont : 2 oz
- Connecticut: 1 month supply (to be determined by doctor)
- Delaware, New Mexico: 6 oz
- Hawaii: 3 oz
- Massachusetts: 60 day supply for personal medical use
- New Hampshire: 2 oz during 10-day period
- Oregon, Washington: 24 oz
3) There is also a limit to how much a legal “grower” can possess. This person must be registered in the state in which they reside and must reapply every 365 days for said registration. (also varies by state)
- Alaska, Colorado, Maine: 6 plants (3 mature, 3 immature)
- Arizona: 0-12 plants
- California: 6 mature or 12 immature plants
- Hawaii, Nevada: 7 plants (3 mature, 4 immature)
- Michigan, Rhode Island: 12 plants
- Montana: 4 plants (mature) 12 seedlings
- New Mexico: 16 plants (4 mature, 12 immature)
- Oregon: 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature)
- Vermont: 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature)
- Washington: 15 plants
4) Cultivation is not allowed in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, or the District of Columbia and a special license is required in New Mexico. In Arizona, cultivation is only allowed if the patient lives outside of the 25 mile radius from any dispensary.
5) Maryland does not condone the legal use of marijuana. However, the maximum penalty for possession of marijuana that can be proven to be medically necessary is a fine no more than 100 dollars.
6) In Utah, cannabis oil to treat epilepsy will be dispensed as a trial starting July 2014. These patients will need documentation from a neurologist stating their medical documentation.
7) In 18/20 of the states above (with the exception of Washington and Colorado) you are required to carry at all times a medical marijuana “card” or ID that states you are legally allowed to possess marijuana for medicinal use. You will be required to reapply for your card every 365 days
8) Dispensaries are for non-profit. They can legally accept money as a gift, but each state limits the amount of money they are allowed to “collect” from patients.
9) If you are on legal probation or in the custody of a parole officer, it is up to the discretion of the correctional facility to decide whether or not you can use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Most medical marijuana doctors and clinics will not approve, however.
10) The most important law is federal. The possession of marijuana is still illegal in regards to federal no matter what amount it is. Use caution if you have a medical marijuana card and are considering travel. You will be subject to penalty under federal jurisdiction. The following states recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- Rhode Island
Keep in mind that there are 13 states that are currently pending legislation to legalize medical marijuana. They are:
- New York
- South Carolina
- West Virginia