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Posted by on Feb 25, 2012 in Law, Politics | 3 comments

Study: Suicide Rates Fall When States Legalize Medical Marijuana

From the study:

Using state-level data for the period 1990 through 2007, we estimate the effect of legalizing medical marijuana on suicide rates. Our results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males…

We conclude that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to an improvement in the psychological wellbeing of young adult males, an improvement that is reflected in fewer suicides.

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  • RP

    Even though I believe this should be a legal product and taxed to the max like tobacco, I am not buying into this until more data is presented showing who, what, where and when this study conducted.

    Sounds like an early April first article without any proof of data.

  • adelinesdad

    It would be more interesting to look at the relationship between marijuana *use*, rather than legalization. Ideally, you could even study the direct effect of marijuana use by looking at different populations, one or drug users and one of non-drug users who share similar psychological characteristics. The fact the this study focused on the legalization aspect, rather than more direct measures, suggests to me that there may be a political motivation here.

    Also, while suicide rates are certainly an important statistic in its own right, I don’t think they should be used as the primary measure of psychological well-being. The number of suicides is very small compared to the number of people who suffer psychologically. It’s certainly conceivable that drug use reduces suicides even while decreasing over-all psychological well-being. I wouldn’t expect an economist to jump to such a conclusion.

  • ShannonLeee

    offing yourself is probably the last thing that goes through a person’s mind while high…along with getting anything done 🙂

    I was going to hang myself, but then I got high.

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