BRUCES VEIW ON RECENT RESEARCH
According to recent research there are unintended consequences to legalized medical marijuana. A study titled, Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption saw a nearly 9% drop in traffic fatalities after the laws took effect. There was a 12% drop in the alcohol related fatal crash rate and a 19% decrease in the fatality rate of those in their 20’s. The study was the result of economist professors Daniel Rees of the University of Colorado, Denver, and D. Mark Anderson from Montana State University. The data covered thirteen states from 1990 to 2009 and came mainly from the National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other findings were a decrease in youthful, under 18, use, and an increase in use for those 18 and older. There was also a 5% falling off in beer consumption. The study is being peer reviewed.
Recently researchers from the University of Colorado, San Diego State University, and Montana State University published a discussion paper at the Institute for the Study of Labor, Bonn, Germany. The paper was titled, “High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide”. The authors used state level data from 1990 to 2007 to determine suicide rates before and after the passage of state medical marijuana laws. Results indicate a nearly 5% reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11% reduction in males aged 20 to 29, and a 9% decrease in males aged 30 to 39. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death.
What conclusions can be drawn from the above studies? Can it be that less beer and more cannabis will lead to less carnage on the highways and more young men living long enough to be grandfathers. Is a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities and 5% fewer suicides a good thing? Legalize medical marijuana now. People’s lives depend on it.