Number of Deaths Linked to Marijuana 2015

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: January 20, 2016

Number of Deaths Linked to Marijuana 2015

This has been one heck of a year and the controversy that is marijuana has been a constant for 2015.

For or against it, its legalization in 23 states has resulted in an alarming amount of



The rate of absolutely zero deaths from a marijuana overdose remained steady from last year, according to figures​ released this month by the Centers for Disease Control.

But while Americans aren’t dying as a result of marijuana overdoses, the same can’t be

said for a range of other substances, both legal and illicit.   Take a look below:







A total of ​17,465 ​people died from overdosing on illicit drugs like heroin and cocaine last year, while ​25,760 ​people died from overdosing on prescription drugs, including painkillers and tranquilizers like Valium, according to CDC figures.

“More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record,” the CDC reported earlier this month.







Alcohol, an even more accessible substance, is killing Americans at a rate not seen in roughly 35 years, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal data….

That is a scary number!

The more than 30,700 Americans who died from alcohol­induced causes last year

doesn’t include alcohol­related deaths like drunk driving or accidents; if it did, the death toll would be more than two and a half times higher!

According to a widely cited 2006 report​ in American Scientist, “alcohol is more lethal than many other commonly abused substances.” The report further puts the lethality of various substances in perspective:

Drinking a mere 10 times the normal amount of alcohol within 5 or 10 minutes can prove fatal, whereas smoking or eating marijuana might require something like 1,000 times the usual dose to cause death.

Though marijuana has yet to lead to a fatal overdose in the U.S., it does have the potential to be abused and lead to dangerous behaviors like drugged driving ­­ but taking too much will likely lead to, if anything, a really bad trip…

Despite the changing tide in American attitudes toward marijuana for both therapeutic and recreational uses, legalization is still vigorously opposed by groups like the pharmaceutical lobby (who stand to lose big if patients turn to medical marijuana for treatment) and police unions (who stand to lose federal funding for the war on drugs).

*Thank you to Huffpost Politics​ for the original story

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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