Heavy users of marijuana have elevated levels of a protein that can raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attacks, according to US government researchers. The drug apparently causes the liver to overproduce the protein, raising serious health issues for long-term smokers, researchers warned. The survey studied people who smoked 78 to 350 joints a week, Reuters reports.
"Chronic marijuana use is not so benign," said one of the authors of the study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. An advocate for legalizing pot questioned the findings, noting that the subjects were extremely heavy users. "We're talking about people who are stoned all the time," he said. "If you do anything to that level of excess, it might well have some untoward effects, whether it's marijuana or wine or broccoli."