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As far as i am aware no one flat out knows the answer. The (cannabinoid) receptor(s), which the drug(s) in marijuana act on to cause their effects, are almost certainly (i think actually definitely) naturally (i.e. in a normal functioning brain minus weed ) involved in the regulating whether certain brain cells survive or die. But this regulation is part of a normal functioning brain-> some (brain) cells just have to die ->maybe you might have heard of apoptosis, or programmed cell death?
So you can maybe see that it is certainly concievable that smoking cannabis would 'kill brain cells'. However, one interesting thing i read was that THC might have its apparent anti-lung cancer effect by encouraging cells which are in danger of becoming cancerous/ nasty to die. So, although there is a possibility that THC etc... might cause brain cells to die, it *might* only be speeding up a natural process, and *might* be actually having a protective effect by killing potentially dangerous cells.
But there might have been important revelations since the last time i read on this subject so this is only the state of affairs as far as i am aware
but more serious problems could concievably arise if a drug selectively killed off cells in a particular area rather than just generally fleecing the brain of a few 1000 random cells (like alcohol), especially if the particular brain region was quite small. So the total numbers of cells that a drug kills off isn't necessarily an accurate guide to how much percievable damage there will be.