Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - People who smoke marijuana have a three times greater risk of dying from hypertension, or high blood pressure, than those who have never used the drug, scientists said on Wednesday.

The risk grows with every year of use, they said. The findings, from a study of some 1,200 people, could have implications in the United States among other countries. Several states have legalized marijuana and others are moving toward it. It is decriminalized in a number of other countries.

“Support for liberal marijuana use is partly due to claims that it is beneficial and possibly not harmful to health,” said Barbara Yankey, who co-led the research at the school of public health at Georgia State University in the United States.

The results showed marijuana users had a 3.42-times higher risk of death from hypertension than non-users, and a 1.04 greater risk for each year of use. (European Journal of Preventive Cardiology)

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