Study Says Suicide Rate Will Fall Significantly In States With Legalized Marijuana

Marijuana jointApparently legalizing weed saves lives, the New Republic reports:

The American Journal of Public Health has just published a study suggesting that states that legalize medical marijuana can expect a reduction in suicide rates.

A team of economists looked at state-by-state statistics on suicide rates over a 17-year period, from 1990 to 2007, comparing data from states that voted to legalize medical marijuana with those that kept it criminalized. According to their calculations, in the three years following legalization, the suicide rate dropped, on average, 10.8 percent among men in their 20s and 9.8 percent for men in their 30s.

“The negative relationship between legalization and suicides is consistent with the hypothesis that marijuana can be used to cope with stressful life events,” wrote the authors.

21 Comments on "Study Says Suicide Rate Will Fall Significantly In States With Legalized Marijuana"

  1. American Cannibal | Feb 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm |

    This must be true because I haven’t killed myself yet. Hurray! Pot is the wonder drug we’ve been waiting for!

  2. InfvoCuernos | Feb 5, 2014 at 3:47 pm |

    In other news, cocaine cures stage fright and heroin cures you of giving a fuck.

    • American Cannibal | Feb 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm |

      I think they call stage fright performance anxiety now. And there are FDA-approved pills for to fix that problem. As for the cure to giving a fuck, heroin and public school are equally useful for the task.

  3. Hadrian999 | Feb 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm |

    don’t legal it because it will lesson suicides, legalize it because the government has no business telling us what we ingest or how to use our consciousness.

    • sonicbphuct | Feb 6, 2014 at 7:14 am |

      I would add to this: “the government has no business telling us what we ingest or how to use our consciousness.” not just “how” we use them, but in what state it exists.

  4. Yes, but cannabis won’t cure an individual of the underlying reason/s that cause them to contemplate suicide though.

    • Damien Quinn | Feb 5, 2014 at 7:23 pm |

      The pleasure to be found in a grilled cheese opens your mind to the obvious truth that it is the simplist and most accessable joys that make life worth living, this doesn’t make you immune to dispair but it helps you put it in perspective.

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 5, 2014 at 7:48 pm |

      If the underlying cause is primarily depressive phases of mental illness and cannabis has antidepressive, anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties (which it does), than by medical definition it does indeed cure in that it alleviates the symptoms of the disorder.

      • But what causes the depressive phases? Forgive my ignorance on the matter but I have always thought that ‘depression’ is something that cannot simply be cured (perhaps I should say ‘healed’) by an external substance. The symptoms can be masked (and how many people use cannabis/drugs for this purpose?!) and perhaps even a lot of suffering can be alleviated, but what happens when use is ceased..?

        Having said this, there are a lot of other factors involved (RoA, quality, disposition, etc), and certainly cannabis seems like a much better alternative than all the synthetiks available so I am not against its use as a medicine (as that is what it is). I am just concerned that with legalisation becoming more prevalent, many people will abuse the drug for its ‘antidepressive’ qualities which could lead to a whole different set of concerns.

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm |

          The nature of healing and cure can of course be debated. If you want to say eliminated with no possibility of reoccurrence or retreatment, I would find that a difficult definition for any realistic scenario.
          The effects of antidepressants are not masking symptoms, they are eliminating some of the causative factors for the symptoms. There are causes at a deeper level such as gene expression for which there is currently no treatment but that is still not masking anything as the medication is providing a molecular mechanism that counterbalances a functional deficit by altering the regulation of related systems.
          I do not see, nor have I seen any concern expressed by relevant authorities that cannabis possess significant abuse potentials related to any of these factors.
          If such concerns were to arise, I would rather society have those to deal with than the current social problems associated with prohibition.

      • sonicbphuct | Feb 6, 2014 at 7:10 am |

        While I agree with you entirely, I confess, X. has a point – cannabis will not make me any less a wage slave, nor make my boss less of an idiot, nor make the women I love love me back, but it makes all of those things more … tolerable.

        • Calypso_1 | Feb 6, 2014 at 11:48 am |

          Depression in response to difficult life events is not the same as a depressive disorder.
          The mind is injured, as is the body when subjected to great stress.
          For some there is an underlying disorders that may predispose to low stress tolerance, difficulty in healing or cause symptoms with no apparent external triggers.
          Just as treatments are used to recover from an injury they are used for conditions that may exacerbate or underlie the symptoms.
          No responsible advocate for such care would suggest that the point is to make the difficulties of life disappear. There are however plenty of methodologies to approach how you handle said events and thus alter your response. But for those who do have depressive disorders, without treatment, often life itself seems entirely absent and the only thing that is faced on a daily basis is the illness.
          In the process of alleviating depression one can make much better decisions related to life path, relationships, etc. that can contribute to better management of stressors.

  5. DeepCough | Feb 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

    Nothing prevents a person from jumping off of a building like couch-lock.

    • sonicbphuct | Feb 6, 2014 at 7:08 am |

      spoken like someone who has had a very indica induced Deep Cough before.

  6. BuzzCoastin | Feb 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm |

    I remember when all pot did was get you high
    it cures whatever ails you
    and stops you from killing yourself too
    only if its legal in your overlord’s district
    it’s the gateway to heroin
    & the presidency of der homeland

    • kowalityjesus | Feb 6, 2014 at 1:27 am |

      the way I see it, legalizing pot would *delay* a lot of suicides, not really prevent them

  7. MRadclyffe | Feb 6, 2014 at 9:59 am |

    And for women…? Or don’t they smoke, or don’t they feel suicidal, or don’t they matter?

    • I assume they just rushed out the article after the study was concluded, but yeah…

      In my experience, some women I know have used marijuana specifically to alleviate symptoms of depression for everything ranging from dealing with the after-effects of a bad break-up to postpartum depression. It does seems to help.

      However, one friend of mine had to quit smoking for a new job and had random crying spells for a few months. She realized that she literally had never developed the skills to handle stress, since she had been smoking since she was very, very young. The job itself *was* more stressful than her previous, but she specifically named not being able to smoke as the cause. She’s fine now and as far as I know still doesn’t smoke.

    • Calypso_1 | Feb 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm |

      The actual study did reference women but the results were not as pronounced though there is still a positive correlation. Women have a suicide rate nearly 75% less than men. The 9.8-10.8% drop experienced by men would be within or approaching the confidence interval for random variation in the female population.

  8. As it stands the benefits clearly out weigh the potential hazards. Cannabis use has been around a long, long time and has not created anywhere near the kind of problems that alcohol and certain prescription drugs have.

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