Stanford claims legal marijuana states have further suicide attempts
In the past few years, scientific minds have come up with a ton of individual data showing that marijuana has therapeutic properties capable of treating various conditions from anxiety to depression. The most dedicated cannabis advocates believe the plant is essential to helping people fight mental illness. However, new research from Stanford Medicine suggests that cannabis may be what is driving a more fragile society over the edge. States that sell cannabis like beer seem to have a higher rate of suicide attempts.
A study published in the JAMA network open finds more “suicide attempts” in states with fully legal marijuana recovery laws. This risk of self-harm like cutting was only found in men between the ages of 21 and 39, the study shows. Researchers believe that selling marijuana to adults aged 21 and over could have a self-destructive component. “States that legalize but restrict commercialization may be better positioned to protect populations from accidental harm,” said lead study author Keith Humphreys, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science.
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The risk of self-harm seems to have more to do with how marijuana is sold than with marijuana itself. When researching states with medical marijuana programs, researchers found no increases in suicide attempts (or overly dramatic cries for help – my words, not theirs ) firmly. “Medical cannabis laws showed no adverse effects on self-harm or bodily harm in the study. But when you turned to recreational and commercial uses, some results were worrying, ”said Humphreys.
The Stanford crew blames the potency of recreational marijuana products for the problem. The study points directly to the “regular or heavy use” of highly effective pot products for the increased risk of suicidal behavior. The restriction of potency is currently a hot topic in some constitutional states.
RELATED: Cannabis Does Not Increase Suicidal Behavior
This is the conclusion the researchers came to by examining 75 million health insurance claims from 2003 to 2017. They found a significant increase in self-harm cases in states where weeds like alcohol were legal. Men up to the age of 21 were most at risk. The researchers uncovered almost 50% more cases of suicidal self-harm in this population in states with recreational marijuana laws. “This is particularly worrying because the human brain is much more plastic in adolescence,” said Humphreys. “Heavy use during adolescence can cause significant damage.”
RELATED: Anti-Marijuana People’s Credit Legalization For Alcohol-Related Deaths
Other studies published over the years have shown similar results. For example, a 2019 study published in JAMA psychiatry (comprised of 11 studies and nearly 24,000 teenagers) found a higher rate of attempted suicide by cannabis users than by non-users. In Colorado, Government data shows that marijuana is the most common intoxicating substance among teenagers (15-19) who commit suicide. The data shows that it was present around 37% of the time in 2018 – a drastic increase from pre-legislative times.
Is the increased risk of suicidal behavior really a problem for constitutional states? Nobody seems to fully understand that.
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We know that some people have no problems with cannabis at all, while others do. Various studiesAssociated marijuana with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders (psychosis, anxiety, and depression). Little is known, however, about whether marijuana actually causes these conditions or just makes people more vulnerable. What is obvious is that younger people who never touch cannabis do better on their mental health than those who do.
RELATED: Study: People With Depression Are More Likely to Use Cannabis
Even so, Stanford admits that their research is not conclusive evidence that marijuana use causes self-harm. More research is needed before science can fill the void in this regard.
Still, Humphreys believes the data is a warning to a nation focused on making gains over public health. “The thing about cannabis is that a lot of people culturally believe that it can only do good,” Humphreys said. “But it is addicting like alcohol and can negatively affect people’s well-being and health.”