The evidence does seem to suggest that, like most everything, marijuana in extremely high doses can tip a person or a dog over into a sudden death. But the amount of drug needed combined with the necessary anatomic derangement of a person’s heart will make this extremely rare—much less common than death by bee sting or penicillin ingestion. As the product becomes more commercialized and ever stronger premium brands are put forward, the risk might increase a tad, but any serious illness will remain an extremely uncommon event.

There is a substantial public health danger though that many are overlooking, and not the possible problems with driving under the influence of cannabis—which is still being determined. The decriminalization of marijuana is happening at the exact time that achievements nationally and globally have been made in the reduction of tobacco consumption. Yet, as some fuddy-duddy physicians in England have pointed out in their 2003 article comparing tobacco to marijuana, the tobacco plant and the marijuana plant contain many of the same chemicals—about 400 in all for both leaves.

The effects of many of these chemical compounds are uncertain and even unknown.