by National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
In the first Australian study of its kind, 559 cannabis-related deaths identified between 2000 and 2018 have been examined by researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), UNSW Sydney.
The leading cause of death was accidental injury (30 percent), followed by suicide (25 percent), and polysubstance toxicity (17 percent).
Lead author, Ms Emma Zahra said motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of accidental injury deaths (75 percent).
"One in five motor vehicle accident deaths were pedestrians, highlighting that acute cannabis and polysubstance intoxication can affect information processing and perception of risk."
None of the deaths identified were due to cannabis toxicity alone.
The mean age of death was 35.8 years and more than 80 percent of cases were male. 62 percent were aged under 40 years with the highest proportion of cases in the 30-39 age bracket.
"Men were over-represented and were three times more likely to die due to accidental injury than women," said Ms Zahra