(CBS Local) A new study is warning that people who smoke marijuana have three times the risk of dying from high blood pressure than those who don’t use the drug. Scientists, publishing their findings in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, added that the risk of dying from hypertension grew with each year of smoking marijuana.
The study revealed that of the 1,200 people tested, those who smoked pot were 3.4 times more likely to die from hypertension. The risk of suffering a fatal blood pressure condition also went up by 1.04 times for each year the person had smoked the substance. The study did not find a link between marijuana use and dying from heart diseases or strokes.
Barbara Yankey, co-author of the study and a PhD student at Georgia State University, says the decriminalization of marijuana use in many states has been based on incomplete claims that the drug has positive health benefits.
“Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial and possibly not harmful to health,” Yankey said, per Reuters. “If marijuana use is implicated in cardiovascular diseases and deaths, then it rests on the health community and policy makers to protect the public,” she added.
As of the 2016 November election, recreational and medicinal marijuana use has been legalized in eight states including California, Colorado, and Massachusetts.