In the last 10 years the United State's has made great progress towards the legalization of cannabis, but not exactly enough just yet. It's interesting to know that there have been a few major studies indicating the medical value or safety of cannabis in comparison to other substances, legal and illegal, yet the federal law has yet to reflect that. In 2015 a study was released that compared different mind-altering substances like alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and several illegal drugs. The study gave each substance a score based on the threshold for toxicity compared to the average amount people usually take, linking the substance to it's likelihood for abuse or overdose. To anyone familiar with at least a few of these substances the results are not surprising. Alcohol took the top spot as the most toxic and highest potential for abuse, following by heroin, cocaine, nicotine, MDMA, meth, and then all the way at the bottom of the list was cannabis. It's time that the federal government begin accepting the reality that marijuana has been draped in lies and propaganda for years and now change the laws to reflect the reality of science.
How is this possible? The study used an approach called the Margin of Exposure (MOE) which is drastically different from other studies that simply attempted to find causational relationship between two factors – (1) substance use/abuse and (2) mortality. MOE is different; it’s a ratio between the estimated (average) human intake and the benchmark dose (or toxicological threshold). Basically, it’s a ratio between how much humans typically intake and the dose at which the substance becomes dangerous – which is a better judge of how risky a substance can be. The higher the MOE is, the higher its spot on the list.
The results of the study were conclusive: The highest spot belonged to alcohol, while the succeeding spots were filled by heroin, cocaine, nicotine, MDMA, methamphetamine, methadone, amphetamine, diazepam, and THC (or marijuana). With marijuana in the lowest spot (over 100 times less toxic than alcohol), it can be surmised that its effects on health and society have been largely overestimated. If there was a plant that couldn’t be more misunderstood – or was it perhaps intentionally maligned – it has to be marijuana