Most marijuana advocates maintain that there have been no recorded deaths caused by smoking weed, and that adverse health concerns are limited. A man from Spain ended up in a coma after ingesting cake laced with marijuana, and at this point doctors are unsure if cannabis may have caused his comatose state or if he suffered from any other medical condition.  

Eleven students between the ages of 18 and 22 from Madrid’s Alfonso X University took part in eating a birthday cake laced with cannabis, The Associated Press reported. Out of the 11 college students, 10 of them were rushed to the hospital, including the man who landed in a coma. Most of the students were treated at Puerta de Hierro de Majadahonda hospital in Madrid for an irregular heartbeat.

After not responding to a stimulus given to him at the hospital designed to counteract his ailment, the man eventually recovered from his comatose condition. He is currently still being treated by doctors at the hospital. A death caused by marijuana ingestion or inhalation has never been recorded in the history of medical literature. In fact, health care professionals say cigarettes are detrimental for our health compared to marijuana.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 435,000 deaths were caused by a tobacco-related product in 2000, tallying 1,200 deaths each year. That’s not to say cannabis smoke is immune to certain adverse health concerns caused by smoking. For example, marijuana smokers suffer from the similar disorders caused by cigarette-smoking including coughing, wheezing, and bronchitis.

Although most pot promoters say cannabis cannot lead to death, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) begs to differ. After a person smokes marijuana their heart rate raises by 20 to 100 percent over a period of three hours. A study out of the NIDA revealed that marijuana smokers stand a 4.8-fold increase in their risk of having a heart attack. It is estimated that one out of six people who start smoking marijuana at a young age will become addicted.