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January 4, 1971

Marihuana-Induced Hospitalization

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

JAMA. 1971;215(1):121. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180140085029

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To the Editor.—  A study of 701,057 consecutive hospital admissions in Los Angeles from 1961 to 1969 revealed nine instances of marihuana-induced disease requiring hospitalization. Five followed intravenous use, one followed ingestion, and three followed the smoking of marihuana cigarettes. Intravenous injection produced severe disease while the other modes of use resulted in trivial changes. This paucity of recognized disease secondary to marihuana was in sharp contrast to the frequent severe illnesses produced legally by alcohol, tobacco, barbiturates, amphetamines, tranquilizers, and various over-the-counter drugs, and by the illicit opiates and hallucinogens.Major controversy exists regarding the presence and nature of harm associated with marihuana use. To attempt to ascertain the importance of recognized marihuana-induced disease, with the aid of a computer, we searched the records at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. Of the nine that were secondary to marihuana use, none was fatal (table).Three admissions