Researchers continue to uncover more health benefits of cannabis consumption
Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the US, with an estimated 50 million people having used it last year. Marijuana use can have a wide variety of health effects on the body and brain. However, legalization has also been shown to have a positive effect on public health. Studies reveal that as more states welcome the plant, there has been a reduction in crime, traffic fatalities, suicides and alcohol and tobacco use.
A number of positive public health outcomes have been evidenced by a recent review of existing studies related to marijuana legalization. Road traffic fatalities, crime, alcohol and tobacco use, and even suicide rates have seen a large decrease since marijuana became more prevalent in the country.
Currently, 36 states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, and 18 have legalized it for recreational or adult use. According to data analyzed between 2013 and 2020, public health has benefited greatly thanks to this trend. Consumption among young people is a major concern for regulators, public health agencies and those generally opposed to the introduction of more liberal laws.
However, a large body of research has made it clear that legalization stopped young adults from binge drinking. It is clear that reducing alcohol consumption can also improve mental health and potentially lead to fewer suicides. In addition, many road fatalities are caused by alcohol consumption, so cannabis has also influenced that rate to be much lower over time.