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Marijuana Similar to Tobacco In Terms of Insurance Premiums

May 24, 2016 10:20 PM EDT
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Is eating pot brownies every day to relief yourself from chronic pain as bad for you as regularly puffing on a cigarette? According to Canadian life insurance companies, it is. And now, insurance companies are demanding a higher premium rates for clients in accordance with the same level of risks associated with both these activities.

Irrespective of the consuming ways of habits of marijuana users, the insurance industry's national trade association demands standard policy among insurers for tackling the increased costs among marijuana users.

The legalization of marijuana is just a year away, and the use of medical marijuana is growing. Commercial producers and advocates, at the same time, are requesting insurers to change policies penalizing the increasing number of people who are ingesting it in the chemical form. At the same time, commercial growers of marijuana are trying to persuade health insurance providers to cover prescriptions for medical marijuana.

"Tobacco use is going to be the prime risk factor in the death of something like 15,000 to 20,000 Canadians this year due to lung cancer," Dr M.J. Milloy, an infectious-disease epidemiologist studying marijuana's therapeutic effects at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS said according to The Globe and Mail.

"There is no good evidence to suggest that people who smoke cannabis have a raised risk of lung cancer or other respiratory or cardiovascular diseases than people who do not."

"Microscopically, pathophysiologically, it's been shown that smoking cannabis does do things to your lungs, but there's never been any link proven between that usage and lung or cardiovascular complications."

"They have become more lenient in terms of use of marijuana," he said. "Before, those who used marijuana, let's say once a week or even on a week-to-week basis, would be a decline - the insurance company would not cover them for life insurance or critical illness insurance." 

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