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Depression’s Guardian Angel: Medical Pot Reduces Suicide

Posted by Jason Draizin on 05/14/2012 in Medical Marijuana Research

Marijuana can do many magical things for people, but saving a life is one of the more magical things on that extensive list. A new study completed in Germany says that in U.S. states like California where marijuana has become medically legit, rates of suicide have successfully gone down. The researchers note that suicide is often triggered by "stressful life events."

Researchers note that California includes anxiety as one of the many qualifying conditions in order to obtain a medical marijuana card, while Delaware and New Mexico allow the use of medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Reducing Suicide Rates

 

With the help of American researchers, The Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany, recently published their findings in a paper called “High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and suicide.” Their results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law can be associated with an almost five percent reduction in the total suicide rate, which is an eleven percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a nine percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males.

 

The study also takes some wild guesses, such as the one that medical marijuana users are cutting out their intake of alcohol, which can be depressive.

 

Researchers cited research completed on animals where there was a potent anti-depressant effect when they were injected with low doses of a synthetic cannabinoid. Even Dr. Drew Pinsky states that cannabis and depression go together like milk and cookies. It seems clear that the only solid argument to be made is that there might be a correlation between medical marijuana states and lower rates of suicide. Overall, national suicide rates have been gradually decreasing.

Researchers say they focused mostly on young men because most medical marijuana patients in states like Arizona, Colorado and Montana are males, and roughly half are under 40. The data collected on women, was apparently too weak, because women are four times less likely to commit successful suicide in general.