Federal data to be released this week through the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that drug overdose deaths rose for the 11th year in a row. Most were accidents involving prescription painkillers: specifically, opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin which are commonly prescribed for pain management, and are widely abused. Those two drugs contributed to 3 out of 4 medication overdose deaths, according to the report.
Not one single death in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data set was due to overdosing on marijuana.
Why? Generally speaking, because of the way cannabis affects the human brain and nervous system, it is not medically possible to OD on marijuana—though you're welcome to try, and unconfined munchies could certainly cause some damage. Not that death by Doritos would be such an awful thing...
And yet in federal law, with the data once again proving that pot is non-lethal, cannabis remains classified as a schedule 1 drug. That classification means there are no federally-recognized medical applications for pot, while prescription drugs proven yet again to be potentially deadly when abused remain readily and legally available.
As an aside, it's lulzy to note that in the letter of the DEA's law, it's spelled "marihuana." Both the spelling of the law and the logic behind it are antiquated.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.