pt_1543_1530_oThe recreational use of marijuana has been the center of controversy. Though more and more people believe marijuana should be legal, a new study has revealed 20 years of data surrounding regular use of the drug and what it does to one’s body.

According to a study, which examined scientific evidence on marijuana’s health effects over the course of 10 years, conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, it was discovered teens who use the drug regularly are about twice as likely as their counterparts, who do not use marijuana, to drop out of school, experience cognitive impairment and psychoses as adults.

As for middle-age people, those who smoke marijuana regularly are at an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack, as stated in the report. However, the drug’s “effects on respiratory function and respiratory cancer remain unclear, because most cannabis smokers have smoked or still smoke tobacco,” wrote Wayne Hall, lead author of the study.

Researchers also found driving under the influence of marijuana double the risk of being in a car crash, one in 10 daily marijuana users becomes dependent on the drug and the drug may slightly reduce the birth weight of the baby.

Hall also sited Swedish study, which discovered a relationship between marijuana use and schizophrenia. Thirteen percent of schizophrenia cases diagnosed in the study “could be averted if all cannabis use had been prevented in the cohort,” he reported.

Though there is a misconception that marijuana is a harmless drug, Hall refutes the idea. However, Hall does state, marijuana “is not as harmful as other illicit drugs such as amphetamine, cocaine and heroin, with which it is classified under the law in many countries, including the USA.” It was also noted the risk of an individual suffering from a deadly overdose as a result of smoking marijuana is “extremely small.”

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