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Marijuana Raising Health Concerns

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - A new study on marijuana is raising some health concerns, just as more states are legalizing the drug.

Young and middle-aged adults who smoke marijuana could be putting themselves at risk for heart-related complications.

French researchers looked at about 2000 cases of health complications  involving marijuana. Of those cases, 35 were cardiovascular-related, including 20 heart attacks and 9 deaths.

Cardiologists believe the number of cardiovascular complications from marijuana is even higher.

"We used to think marijuana was a very safe drug, but as more and more marijuana is being used there have been more identifiable cases of cardiovascular complications. It can increase heart rate and this can increase the demand for oxygen by the heart," said Dr. Robert Kloner.

As more states legalize marijuana for recreational and medical use, some experts are calling for a national system to track health complications related to marijuana.  

In Iowa, renewed efforts to legalize cannabis oil to treat chronic epilepsy is moving forward in the legislature. The oil is not smoke-able and doesn't create a high. It would have to be obtained out of state and used as a last resort treatment. The Senate could take up the measure Thursday morning.

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