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Study Says Marijuana Legalization Could Save 50,000 Lives Every Year

Many people promote the many benefits to society marijuana legalization would have. Decreased incarceration rates, less gang violence, more resources towards more important areas, etc. But turns out there's another, better reason to legalize marijuana: it might save 50,000 lives every year.

Researchers from the University of Indiana released a report saying legalizing medical marijuana nationwide could save 50,000 lives every year in the United States. They wrote, “Marijuana use is estimated to reduce premature deaths from diabetes mellitus, cancer, and traumatic brain injury by 989 to 2,511 deaths for each 1% of the population using Cannabis. Using a monthly user rate of 12.2% in the analysis, this results in an estimated 12,100 to 30,600 deaths from these causes prevented annually due to marijuana consumption. Including MMJ, Cannabis use appears to prevent approximately 17,400 to 38,500 premature deaths annually under current policies. The analysis predicts an estimated 23,500 to 47,500 deaths prevented annually if medical marijuana were legal nationwide.”

Honestly, based on what the researchers wrote there, they may actually be underestimating the number of lives saved. More than 50,000 Americans die every year as a result of drug overdoses, 20,000 of which are attributed to opioids. If those people were prescribed medical marijuana as a far safer alternative for pain treatment, they may never have developed the addictions that eventually led to their deaths. So then number of lives saved each year could easily be far more than even 50,000.

Thomas Clark, a professor of biology at Indiana who authored the new report, says marijuana research should focus more on how it can save lives going forward. He wrote, “The results of the current analysis strongly suggest that Cannabis prohibition is a significant failure of public health policy, causing more harm than benefit. In addition to increasing the mortality rate, prohibition contributes to the largest per capita prison population in the world, interferes with pursuit of promising medical research, results in the loss of billions in potential tax revenues, empowers violent drug cartels thus destabilizing governments of neighboring countries, and causes extensive economic and electoral disenfranchisement of the most vulnerable U.S.”

You won't find any argument from us.


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