The Corner

Why Puff the Magic Dragon Died Young

These days, we have a (more or less) pro-pot, anti-tobacco culture.

That’s because, supporters of recreational cannabis often say, marijuana is less unhealthy than tobacco. So let the good times roll!

Not so fast. A new study says early marijuana use could drastically cut life spans. From the CBS News story:

Heavy marijuana use in the late teen years puts men at a higher risk for death by age 60, a new long-term study suggests.

Swedish researchers analyzed the records of more than 45,000 men beginning in 1969 and 1970. The scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm reported that 4,000 died during the 42-year follow-up period, and men who’d used marijuana heavily at ages 18 and 19 were 40 percent more likely to die by age 60 compared to guys who hadn’t used the drug.

Somehow, I suspect that no matter unhealthy smoking marijuana should prove, our popular culture will never make Puff the Magic Dragon into the same kind of villainous product as cigarettes.

That’s because the war against tobacco isn’t only about health, but changing culture. Ditto, the promotion of marijuana legalization.

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