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"We conclude that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to fewer suicides among young adult males."

D. Mark Anderson, Daniel I. Rees, and Joseph J. Sabia are the authors of the Study “Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicides by Gender and Age” published in the American Journal of Public Health 104, no. 12 (December 2014): 2369–76. The following is an excerpt from a brief they wrote regarding their study.


"When we examine the relationship between legalization and suicides by gender and age, we find evidence that MMLs [Medical Marijuana Laws] are associated with decreased suicides among 20- through 29-year-old males and among 30- through 39-year-old males. This result is consistent with registry data from Arizona, Colorado, and Montana showing that most medical marijuana patients are male, and that roughly half are under the age of 40 (Anderson et al., 2013, p. 360). Estimates of the relationship between legalization and suicides among females are less precise and sensitive to functional form....

 

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...We conclude that the legalization of medical marijuana leads to fewer suicides among young adult males. This result is consistent with the oft-voiced, but controversial, claim that marijuana can be used to cope with depression and anxiety caused by stressful life events. However, the result may, at least in part, be attributable to the reduction in alcohol consumption among young adults that appears to accompany the legalization of medical marijuana (Anderson et al., 2013)."

 

Click here to read the original brief