The recent deaths of internationally acclaimed celebrities like Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson raises questions regarding the use of prescription drugs. Doctors, physicians, and medical practitioners prescribe antidepressants, sleeping pills painkillers, and tranquilizers without batting an eyelid. People are starting to wonder if these toxic chemicals are really needed by the body and why the disastrous effects of combining medications like sleeping pills and painkillers are never explained clearly to them. These innocent looking bottles of pills have become a death threat and some of them include some of the most commonly used painkillers and sleeping aids as well as other prescription narcotic painkillers.

Recent studies indicate that some of these drugs are the leading causes of acute liver failure and liver damage with many as 1600 cases are reported annually. Though the drug is deemed safe as long as the recommended daily allowance (RDA) levels are maintained, people often end up taking twice or even thrice the maximum prescribed dosage. This happens because the same active ingredient is present in plenty of different types of medication, which leads to an overdose.

Pharmaceutical companies are making in millions of dollars due the sales of these narcotic medications and studies show that on an average, these companies spend as much as $150 million per year as a part of their advertising and promotional activities. According to the Journal of the AMA (American Medical Association), prescriptions drugs and medications are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. A study published in 1998 reported that as many as 2.2 million Americans suffered serious reactions as well as permanent disability due to the adverse effects of these prescribed medications.

106,000 deaths per year have been reported; not from intentional or accidental overdose, but from taking the prescribed dose of these drugs. In spite of these statistics that clearly denote the number of people who have suffered the dire consequences of using antidepressants and other drugs, these are still being prescribed.

Medical cannabis is a natural medication that has no side effects associated with it. The 23 deaths due to the use of medical marijuana that were reported over a period of 12 years (from 1979 to 1998) were all due to life-threatening illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. So, rather than MMJ, their illness could have been the primary reason for their death. Marijuana has an excellent safety record and it has been around for over 5000 years.