As marijuana continues to remain illegal at the federal level, and throughout much of the globe, it’s important to remember that it’s entirely nonfatal.
On the other hand, many legal drugs, such as caffeine, can kill you if enough is consumed. And it takes a lot less to do so than you think.
According to the Journal of Caffeine Research, it takes just 10 grams of caffeine to constitute a fatal dose, meaning it’s enough to kill someone from overdose. 18 grams of caffeine is enough to kill essentially any human.
A venti sized Blond Roast coffee at Starbucks has 475mg (0.47 grams) of caffeine, according to the company’s website. This means that it would take just 21 to kill you. Obviously no one is going to consume 21 coffees in a row (though people have done stupider things on a dare, or for internet videos), but for a substance that is so widely used and available, it really is a shockingly low number to be a fatal dose.
When it comes to cannabis, scientists have yet to discover its LD50 for humans; an LD50 is the amount of a substance that must be ingested to kill 50%of a test sample. This means that it’s physically impossible to overdose on marijuana.
The hypocrisy here is thick and unfortunate. On the bright side, the tides are clearly changing with numerous states and countries going the path of legalization. As advocates continue to fight for reform, they can’t forget to consistently use one of the biggest arguments in favor of ending prohibition: The consumption of marijuana alone simply can’t kill you.
That isn’t true of alcohol, caffeine or even water.