Marijuana can save lives, in more ways than one

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Marijuana is helping hundreds of thousands directly, as well as indirectly

There is a rising amount of scientific evidence that supports the long-held belief that cannabis, and its various compounds, have a wide range of benefits for both the body and mind. Cannabis can help relieve pain, inflammation, epilepsy and, according to some studies, even certain forms of cancer. However, even beyond the direct health benefits offered by Mother Nature’s wonder drug, cannabis is helping in countless other ways, as well.

New studies are showing that cannabis is helping in a number of areas. It is reducing the number of drug overdose fatalities (to date, not a single overdose fatality has been recorded from marijuana use) by getting people off of illicit, as well as pharma-created, drugs. It has also been shown to reduce addiction to alcohol, which accounts for 80,000 deaths in the U.S. alone each year.

Marijuana consumption has also been shown, in some cases, to improve cognitive reasoning. This goes against the long-held – but not scientifically proven – belief that “getting high” caused a decrease in brain functionality.

Marijuana is now also being shown to reduce the number of workplace fatalities. In some states where marijuana consumption has been legalized, the number of on-the-job deaths dropped by as much as 33.7%.

According to researchers who studied workplace safety over an extended period, the reduction in fatalities could be “the result of workers substituting marijuana in place of alcohol use and other substances that can impair cognitive function,” adding that a separate study found that “drivers under the influence of THC appear to take fewer risks.”

This isn’t to say that everyone should go out and begin consuming marijuana. Just as is the case with anything, there is always a call to be responsible. However, despite decades of marijuana being kept under wraps, the truth is finally surfacing and the increasing number of benefits is substantially outweighing any of the purported negatives.