A report tucked away into the depths of the World Health Organization has come to light and claims that cannabis is safer than alcohol or tobacco.
The report from the WHO, which as published in December, is the first in 15 years. New Scientist magazine says comparisons between marijuana and other legal substances were dropped from the report, as there was potential they could help those hoping to legalize marijuana.
“It is understood that advisers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the UN International Drug Control Programme warned the WHO that it would play into the hands of groups campaigning to legalise marijuana,” the New Scientist said.
A WHO scientist that had a part in the report did confirm that the comparison was dropped from the report.
She said: “It was not a fair comparison from our point of view and from a public health perspective it was not very useful. We thought it was biased towards showing less harm from cannabis.”
New Scientist magazine, on the other hand says the analysis pointed to marijuana being less of a threat to people’s health than alcohol or cigarettes.
A doctor from Aberdeen University, Dr. Roger Pertwee said that from his research, there is very little evidence that cannabis is harmful long term. He also stated that researchers have found the smoke from cannabis does not cause blocked airways or impact the lunch function and in fact, the drug is far less addictive than alcohol or cigarettes.
Dr. Pertwee says: “The problem with this area is there is an awful lot of prejudice both for and against cannabis and people feel so strongly about this they are often prepared to manipulate the facts or be selective about what facts to use.”
Scientists in the Netherlands have also dispelled a few myths about marijuana and have said: there is no evidence that it leads to a decline in mental health, nothing suggests that it is addictive and even heavy use does not result in damage to the lungs.
Every issue will have its naysayers and Robin Lefever who runs Promis Recover Centre, a marijuana rehabilitation centre, claims that he was addicted to marijuana and it was the cause of his extreme depression.