This review describes short and long term negative effects of marijuana use from a cost-benefit perspective. The author argues that prohibition as it stands today brings the greatest harm to patients who would benefit from marijuana, and that many of the side effects can be mediated and tolerated as well as many FDA-approved medicines. Legal and social harms from prohibition outweigh the comparably mild health problems arising from recreational use, particularly if decriminalization is not expected to significantly increase the harm the drug contributes, as studies suggest. Author Franjo Grotenherman writes, “Current prohibition on cannabis use may also have harmful side effects for the individual and the society, while having little influence on prevalence of use.”

Franjo Grotenhermen, “Toxicology of Cannabis and Cannabis Prohibition,” Chemistry & Biodiversity 4, issue 8 (August 21, 2007): 1744-1769.

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