LONDON (Reuters) – People who smoke marijuana have a three times greater risk of dying from hypertension, or high blood pressure, than those who have never used the drug, scientists said on Wednesday.
The risk grows with every year of use, they said.
The findings, from a study of some 1,200 people, could have implications in the United States among other countries. Several states have legalized marijuana and others are moving toward it. It is decriminalized in a number of other countries.
“Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial and possibly not harmful to health,” said Barbara Yankey, who co-led the research at the school of public health at Georgia State University in the United States.
“It is important to establish whether any health benefits outweigh the potential health, social and economic risks. If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public.”