With various countries and American states on the path to the legalisation of marijuana – both medical and not – questions surrounding its effects on our health are as relevant as ever. Some debate its potential medicinal benefits and its low risks in terms of overdosing make it a ‘safe drug’ that should be legally accessible. On the other hand, some worry about the message of allowing drug use and the health dangers we may not be aware of yet. But the issue of legalisation is complex and must take many more factors into consideration.

Dr. Wayne Hall is the director of the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at the University of Queensland, as well as an adviser to theWorld Health Organization. He has extensively studied issues relating to drug use, mental health, addiction, and ethics. Here he discusses the effects of cannabis, its changing risk perception, and potential medicinal benefits.

What are the long-term effects of marijuana on the...

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