Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Suicide?

Originally published on February 4, 2014, at TravelersToday.com

According to a recent report in the American Journal of Public Health, marijuana does reduce suicide.

3 university professors reached the conclusion that the suicide rate of men aged 20-39 years old dropped in states that had legalized medical marijuana versus states that criminalized pot.

“Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicides by Gender and Age” by D. Mark Anderson, PhD, Daniel I. Rees, PhD and Joseph J. Sabia, PhD delves into taboo subjects that are generally unconnected. Obtaining suicide reports from 1990-2007, the authors found a 10.8% reduction in suicide rates for males between 20-29 years old and a 9.4% reduction for men between 30-39 in states where medical marijuana had been legalized.

The authors concluded, “Suicides among men aged 20 through 39 years fell after medical marijuana legalization compared with those in states that did not legalize. The negative relationship between legalization and suicides among young men is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events.”

The authors also admitted, “Estimates for females were less precise and sensitive to model specification.”

So far 20 states and the District of Colombia have already legalized medical marijuana. In alphabetical order, they are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Currently, there are 9 states with legislation pending to legalize medical marijuana. These states seeking a little head change are Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Even US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that legal medical marijuana dispensaries should have the right to access banks although cannabis is still considered an illegal Schedule I drug under federal law.

For those seeking to enhance their travels, remember Colorado and Washington are the only 2 states that do not require a prescription.

Happy trails.

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