Numbers Mirror Smoke Hazard

How dangerous is marijuana? Thanks to Dr Peter Maguire and his careful use of basic mathematics, now we know.

Details are in a January 21, 2004 news report from Reuters (read the full report here):

“Cannabis is a drug that can kill,” Dr Peter Maguire, deputy chairman of the BMA’s board of science told Reuters. “People are making the conclusion that it is safe where in fact it is actually more dangerous than tobacco.”

That is the key point: that marijuana is actually more dangerous than tobacco. The report gives further evidence:

Britain has an estimated five million cannabis users and government figures suggest that its use has grown sharply in the last 20 years.

On Tuesday, a coroner recorded that a British man had died as a direct result of smoking the drug. Lee Maisey, 36, smoked up to six cannabis joints a day and is thought to be the first Briton to die as a direct result.

For the better part of a century, authorities have been looking for clear medical proof that marijuana is dangerous. The actual death of a human being — Mr. Maisley — would be difficult to argue away.

Dr. Maguire and the British Medical Association have issued an official statement on the danger of marijuana. See it here. The report features comments from Dr. Maguire, and presents this additional information:

Every year, around 120,000 people in the UK who smoke tobacco cigarettes die as a result of their habit.

Every year, 120,000 people in Britain die from smoking tobacco. And now one person has died from smoking marijuana. This trend is ominous.

Dr. Maguire would like to teach us all a good lesson. Perhaps we ought to pay attention.