Laura Berry is a former State Farm insurance producer and insurance expert.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 2, 2017

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Don't miss these facts...

  • Marijuana is a plant which that people use recreationally for an altered state of consciousness by smoking it, eating it, vaping it and using as a tea
  • Recreational use of marijuana, or pot, is illegal as far as Federal Law is concerned, but it is legal for use in some states
  • Life insurance companies will offer standard ratings or better, depending on the frequency of use and related lifestyles
  • Medicinal use of marijuana is legalized in several states, and life insurance underwriters will rate for the underlying disease rather than the marijuana itself
  • The future of the life insurance industry’s stance on the rating of people who smoke pot is not likely to change in the near future


It is the leaves and stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant or Marijuana that is smoked, vaped, eaten and consumed as a tea and is today very controversial as to its use.

There is research that points to marijuana, or pot as is called, as a substance that gives pain relief to those suffering from cancer and mental relief for those suffering from some mental conditions.

Marijuana is also used as a recreational drug, which is illegal from a federal standpoint, but legal in some states as a medicinal drug.

Marijuana can bring on a feeling of high euphoria when smoked, inhaled or taken internally by other methods. It can cause changes in mood, a relaxation feeling, and calmness.

Other effects can occur that are not so pleasant. Pot can produce hallucinations, feelings of panic, difficulty in concentrating, heart rate increase, decreased interest in completing various tasks, and problems with coordination.

There can also be problems when people come down off of a “high” such as depression and a feeling of extreme fatigue.

There is also research that when marijuana is used by teens, there occurs an aberration in the development of the brain.

Marijuana smoking has the same physical and lung issues as smoking tobacco, yet marijuana has been known to raise the heart rate to 20 to 100 percent.

Learn more about life insurance below and make sure to use our free comparison tool above! Just enter your zip and start comparing rates today!

Marijuana Effects on Society and Ramifications of Individuals

adobestock_80883856-1600x1600

It is often claimed that the use of marijuana is a precursor to the use of other, more destructive drugs. In fact, the majority of marijuana users do not go on to use more illicit and more powerful drugs.

Even though pot does cause drug-like results like a stupor, and inabilities to perform many functions normally, it is a small percentage that does move on to stronger drugs.

The ingredients of marijuana have little to do with the craving for more advanced drugs, and it is the societal exposure to a marijuana user that has the most influence on a pot smoker.

For example, if the person who is supplying a pot smoker with his supply offers another drug to “try” then the pot user might be influenced to use the other drug.

The environmental aspect of the pot user would be the primary influence and opportunity for an individual to use harder drugs.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is the View of Life Insurance Company on Insuring Pot Smokers?

Like most situations, how a life insurance company judges the use of marijuana as far as underwriting a policy, the final result is measured by degrees.

The honor system is in full use here, as one of the primary questions that are asked on a life insurance application is how often does an applicant use marijuana?

Many life insurance companies will classify a pot user as a non-smoker if they use the substance very infrequently.

Moreover, the underwriters will look at the surrounding circumstances that affect the marijuana user while he is consuming the drug.

If it used while driving, working farm equipment while piloting an airplane? What is the overall risk in which a person places himself or herself while using marijuana?

If a person uses marijuana for medical purposes, such as for pain relief or to reduce nausea, then that individual will be evaluated for the underlying condition rather than solely for the use of the marijuana.

This is becoming more and more the view of medical marijuana, as additional states approve the medical use of the drug.

Does marijuana usage cause any other medical problems?

AdobeStock_111046064-1600x1600

A recent study conducted by the journal “Mutation Research – Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, it was stated that sustained use of marijuana causes certain cancers due to the marijuana changing the DNA of a person by the chemicals in the cannabis interactions.

The mutations that occur can be passed down from generation to generation and cause severe problems.

These mutations can be passed on by the sperm of a father, even though a mother had never used marijuana at all.

It was noted in the study that serious and fatal diseases and illness could be shown in future generations and traced back to marijuana use by their forebearers.

The study goes on to say that these chemical interactions can cause cells in a fetus to grow more slowly, and the baby’s fetal development can be affected. Cancer can be the result, as well as the improper growth of limbs and vital organs of the fetus.

Pot and the Brain

AdobeStock_106779253-1600x1600

As additional observations and studies are correlated, it has been found that teenagers who used pot in their youth, have decidedly lower IQ’s when the grow older.

Some people who are more susceptible to schizophrenia could have their brain functions modified in negative ways by excessive use of marijuana.

Some of the long-term effects when researchers compare people who have used marijuana excessively to non-pot users show a reduction of the volumes of gray matter or the orbitofrontal cortex in their brains.

A study of rats showed that excess marijuana use caused a loss of memory because of the hippocampus, the areas of the brain that helps to form memory are altered.

While these factors are alarming, there is not sufficient evidence to suggest that they have any long-term affect on mortality. This is probably why life insurance underwriters don’t place any more emphasis on rating people just for pot smoking.

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap life insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

The Future Of Marijuana Use and Life Insurance Underwriting

Marijuana use and the underwriting of a life insurance policy is likely to remain the same, in that the insurance industry sees no more issue with the habit than they do smoking tobacco.

And some life companies give pot smokers a non-smoking rate if their use of pot is small, such as usage of once or twice per week.

The key to it all is to ascertain how often a person uses pot, how it is consumed, such as smoking, vaping, eating or brewing as a tea.

More states are allowing recreational pot usage, and the frequency of use and the conditions in which it is used is the key.

On the other hand, people who grow and sell marijuana are being declined because this currently runs afoul of federal regulations and creates possible money laundering problems.

In Conclusion

Pot users are not rated or deprived of purchasing life insurance unless they have a criminal record in selling it illegally, or the have an underlying disease.

Whether or not pot may have caused the disease seems to be immaterial, as the evidence of that does not seem to be too compelling.

Don’t miss out on our free comparison tool below! Just enter your zip code and start comparing rates now!