An examination of recreational cannabis-related deaths between 2000 and 2018 by the National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre has found none could be attributed to cannabis toxicity alone.

The study looked at closed cases of 559 deceased individuals where the death was deemed cannabis-related by the forensic pathologist. The majority (81 per cent) were men.

In looking at the manner of death, accidental injury accounted for 30 per cent of cases, with suicide (25 per cent), disease (24 per cent) and polysubstance toxicity (17 per cent) accounting for most of the rest.

Three-quarters of accidental injury deaths involved motor vehicles, with men three times more likely to die that way than women.

Alcohol played a part in almost half the total cases (47 per cent), and more than one third of accidents (67 per cent).

While the deaths studied were deemed cannabis-related, the majority included multiple substances with alcohol the most prominent.

Research Officer at the NDARC Emma Zahra said strategies to minimise accidental injury related to licit and illicit substances should remain a priority for policy makers.

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