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Smoking Pot Linked to Decreased Suicide Risk, Totally Awesome Scientists Suggest

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Science! If you wait long enough, it’ll validate everything you wish were true. A new study from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, revealed lower suicide rates in U.S. states where marijuana has been legalized for medicinal purposes.

Results, published in a paper called “High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide,” suggest that “the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males.”

One hypothesis is that medical marijuana reduces the consumption of alcohol, a depressant linked to increased suicide rates. L.A. Weekly insists there’s nothing conclusive here: “Suicide rates have been decreasing across the board.”

Ten years ago, a Harvard Medical School study found the opposite: Marijuana use may actually increase the risk for depression and psychiatric problems, including a loss of motivation — which, of course, could explain why pot smokers aren’t offing themselves so readily. Quoth the National Lampoon in response to these new findings: “ ‘I’ll get to it next week.’ ”

Read the full PDF here.

(via L.A. Weekly)

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