Physicians all across the United States are more concerned with your use of alcohol and tobacco than your consumption of marijuana, according to a new paper outlined by the folks at the Washington Post.
The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), finds that most doctors believe marijuana use to be less worrisome behavior than riding a motorcycle without a helmet or having sex with prostitutes. In fact, these two risky actions are considered more concerning within the medical community than the consumption of the world’s two most popular, legal drugs: alcohol and tobacco.
These findings are consistent with an essay published back in August by the Scientific American attempting to make sense out of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision to keep marijuana classified under a Schedule I listing. The article, which was penned by resident physician Nathaniel P. Morris, indicates that most health care providers are not worried about pot.
“We don't see cannabis overdoses,” Morris wrote. “We don't order scans for cannabis-related brain abscesses. We don't treat cannabis-induced heart attacks.
“In medicine, marijuana use is often seen on par with tobacco or caffeine consumption—something we counsel patients about stopping or limiting, but nothing urgent to treat or immediately life-threatening,” he added.
This is not the first time research has surfaced that goes against the federal government’s claim that marijuana’s is one of the most dangerous substances in the world.
Earlier this year, researchers from Arizona State University found the only health issue chronic marijuana users were more at risk for was gum disease. In a study of more than 1,000 lifelong cannabis users, researchers concluded that smoking weed was just about as much of a detriment to a person’s overall health as not flossing after meals.
"In general, our findings showed that cannabis use over 20 years was unrelated to health problems in early midlife," wrote the study authors. "Across several domains of health (periodontal health, lung function, systemic inflammation, and metabolic health), clear evidence of an adverse association with cannabis use was apparent for only one domain, namely, periodontal health."
Incidentally, the use of alcohol and tobacco has also been linked to gum disease.
Despite the fact that most doctors are not troubled by marijuana use, their political affiliation may determine how conservative or liberal they are with respect to their opinions on the substance.
Earlier this week, MERRY JANE reported on a study that suggests Republican doctors are less likely to recommend medical marijuana than Democrats.
But at the end of the day, doctors have more serious drugs to contend with than the cannabis plant.
“In hospitals across the country, patients writhe in agony from alcohol withdrawal, turn violent from crystal meth, and struggle to breathe after overdosing on prescription opioids. These are the cases that keep health care providers on edge. These are the patients we follow closely. When our pagers go off, we hurry to the bedside, give medications, alert security or even begin resuscitation,” Morris wrote. “With marijuana? Not so much.”