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Posted by: thepinetree on 04/06/2021 11:05 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 04/06/2021 12:10 PM
Expires: 01/01/2026 12:00 AM
:

Marijuana Legalization Has 3 Life-Saving Public Health Benefits, New Study Finds ~ By Brad Polumbo

Atlanta, GA...Harkening back to the days of “Reefer Madness,” proponents of marijuana criminalization have tended to frame their arguments in terms of protecting the public from a supposedly dangerous health hazard. But new research concludes that, in reality, legalizing marijuana improves public health.



In a paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, economists D. Mark Anderson and Daniel I. Rees review dozens of studies investigating the health consequences of medical marijuana laws. They also evaluate recreational marijuana legalization (though data are more sparse in this area). Here are three of the key ways they conclude that legalization improves public health outcomes.

Life-Saving Reductions in Tobacco Consumption
Marijuana does have health consequences that people should keep in mind when making personal consumption decisions, but essentially nobody directly dies from it. Traditional cigarette smoking and tobacco consumption, on the other hand, cause lung cancer—which kills roughly 150,000 Americans every year.

So, anything that meaningfully reduces traditional cigarette smoking is likely to save lives. And this new research shows that not only is there “little evidence that legalization has encouraged the smoking of tobacco,” as critics predicted but “if anything, it has discouraged its use.”

One study cited found that medical marijuana laws are associated with a 6 percent decrease in cigarette use among teenagers and a 12 percent drop in frequent teen smoking. Another concluded that “Legalization of recreational marijuana is associated with a 12% decrease in tobacco demand.”

Reduced Alcohol Use and Traffic Deaths
While the proliferation of legal marijuana may lead to increased consumption, this isn’t necessarily a net negative for public health. Indeed, the new paper concludes that marijuana often serves as a substitute for alcohol, the use of which contributes to roughly 95,000 deaths in the US annually.

It cites studies finding that the legalization of recreational marijuana is associated with a five percent drop in demand for alcohol and a 20 percent decrease in binge drinking, including among college students. Meanwhile, medical marijuana laws are associated with a 13 to 15 percent decrease in alcohol-related traffic deaths, per one of the studies reviewed.

Declining Violent Crime
The criminalization of marijuana has fueled black markets and gang activity,  resulting in more violent crime. So, it’s not surprising that this paper finds that “Studies... provide strong evidence that legalization reduces non-drug crimes.”

It cites research showing that the opening of legal dispensaries is associated with a 19 percent drop in overall crime. Another study found recreational marijuana legalization corresponded with a 15 to 30 percent drop in rapes and a 10 to 20 percent drop in theft.

The Takeaway: Results Matter Infinitely More Than Intentions
There’s little doubt that many policymakers and voters who support the criminalization of marijuana earnestly hope to protect the public. But, as Nobel-prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Intentions and rhetoric make for great campaigning; not great governance. Or, as economist Robert P. Murphy wrote for FEE.org, “It’s not enough... to endorse legislation that has a nice title and promises to do something good. People need to think through the full consequences of a policy, because often it will lead to a cure worse than the disease.”

Criminalizing marijuana has indeed led to a “cure” far worse for public health than the “disease.” And now we know that abandoning this failed policy would literally have life-saving results.

Brad Polumbo
Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.


Comments - Make a comment
The comments are owned by the poster. We are not responsible for its content. We value free speech but remember this is a public forum and we hope that people would use common sense and decency. If you see an offensive comment please email us at news@thepinetree.net
Blown Smoke. . .
Posted on: 2021-04-06 11:21:57   By: Anonymous
 
What a crock of crap this article is, where do these crazy doctors come from?

Whats incentive do they have to write something as stupid as this article.

Should be titled "Blown Smoke"

As Nobel-prize-winning economist Milton Friedman famously said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

This is not result orientated facts - this is choose the date that best suits your argument and ignore everything else.

I'm not against pot, but give me a break . . .

[Reply ]

    Re: Blown Smoke. . .
    Posted on: 2021-04-06 12:00:12   By: Anonymous
     
    This would be called research. People are going to smoke anyway and better to have a registered supply chain monitored for bad additives. The occasional, recreational weed users I know are in better health than alcohol and beer guzzling, often overweight individuals including many locals with underlying health conditions and still smoke tobacco, too.

    [Reply ]

    Re: Blown Smoke. . .
    Posted on: 2021-04-06 12:02:44   By: Anonymous
     
    Domestic abuse and other violence is often fueled by alcohol abuse. Not so smoking a little weed that relaxes you.

    [Reply ]

      Re: Blown Smoke. . .
      Posted on: 2021-04-07 08:00:19   By: Anonymous
       
      That guy looks like he like to lick nads.

      [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2021-04-06 11:24:09   By: Anonymous
 
That makes good sense .

[Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2021-04-06 12:44:53   By: Anonymous
 
This article is a piece of s hit! Come to Murphys or any town up here and take a look at what pot has done to the kid user’s, 15 to 45. Many are laz asses, don’t work, on and on it goes. What the hell are the benefits to smoking dope? Name one. We already have enough trouble with alcohol, why encourage another substance that will be used to make someone wealthy and the user’s with long term mental health problems, not to mention lung problems. Totally irresponsible!

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2021-04-06 13:21:51   By: Anonymous
     
    Yeah, legal weed is so harmless that we had to move out of Mountain Ranch to get way from the pot farms and everything that comes with them.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2021-04-06 13:24:03   By: Anonymous
       
      Brad Polumbo is the pothead version of Dr Fauci. They're both nuts.

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2021-04-06 13:39:29   By: Anonymous
         
        Talk to the pot thieves, oh, never mind, some of them are dead. Talk to the growers who speak out about how they will kill the pot thieves. Look at the dirty people who grow and process this crap.
        Look at the homes or the property these growers have, they are total dumps, I would not eat a damn cookie they baked, probably have a bunch of chemicals in them anyway. Who paid this guy, yeah, I wonder. Why are pot growers armed if they are so non-violent?
        What a f------ idiot as are the growers and the users, all just dope dealers.

        [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2021-04-06 13:42:30   By: Anonymous
       
      Amen, we left too for the same reason, the worst damn neighbors I ever had.

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2021-04-06 14:12:44   By: Anonymous
         
        Funny. Same people complaining nowadays about it. They all leave now. That stupid flower is a trick played just like the old Democratic Party dupe you with. Where were you 5-10 years ago. Last 4 and half 5 years all had that head so far up ass for impeachment. This whole country is looking more and more like the new lost California ownership of foreign countries. Way to wake up! And not WOKE up. Not granddaddy’s Democratic Party. The hell with Cbd and all the BS that followed it. Just makes you numb to the truth. Some idiot thinking they’re rich. Drug lord rich.

        [Reply ]

        Data On Use
        Posted on: 2021-04-06 14:17:05   By: Anonymous
         
        Calaveras Co knows well the libertarian green rush it experienced.
        This was absurd. The county should of had code enforcement inspections years ago, but it didn't why? Was it the lure of businesses making $ and tax revenue?
        The reduction of violent crime, domestic abuse, related to marijuana use, along with reduced tobacco and alcohol, is a fact. This is why those industries opposed the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is not a depressant which tobacco and alcohol are. It is a psychedelic, which increases consciousness, the enemy of those who wish to numb the citizens .

        To quote Milton Friedman is ridiculous, as being the father of supply side economics,which in truth is a fraud.
        Milton Friedman famously said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

        The results of supply side economics the darling of right wing economics is a story of the liquidation of the middle class in many countries, as Friedman's philosophy was exported to Chile and other countries to the south with disastrous results The same in the US.Reaganomics is the adoption of supply side economics- tax cuts, never too low for the corporations. How America transferred the wealth of the middle classs to the .001%. The absurd fraud continues.

        Keynesian Economics , the opposite of supply side, is proven to work.

        What sense does it make to produce products, when the market cannot pay for them?
        It doesn't. If you make it, they will buy is a fantasy- supply side economics.

        If you pay a living wage, then people can buy products- Keynesian Economics makes sense.

        Keynesian Economics also shows in the government spending on infrastructure increases the economy, the borrowed $ is paid back in a short time thru increased businesses, the Interstate highway system is a good example.

        Conservatives railed against the Interstate highway system, yet their rejection was shown to be wrong.



        [Reply ]

          Re: Data On Use
          Posted on: 2021-04-06 15:01:49   By: Anonymous
           
          " Our darkest days are ahead of us" ~ Joe Biden said that on Dec 22, 2020 and since he became President, He's Hands Down Correct on that. Nailed It. Nothing but net. Grand Slam. Hole In One. TD. Checkmate!!!

          [Reply ]

            Re: Data On Use
            Posted on: 2021-04-06 15:09:11   By: Anonymous
             
            That stupid smile on his face tells me all I need to know. Invested!$$$

            [Reply ]

No Subject
Posted on: 2021-04-06 15:05:55   By: Anonymous
 
Whine on, cry babies! Your kids smoke weed and have gender fluid orgies. They pray to satan and laugh at you and your problems. You made it this way with your drug wars and prohibitions. Without your bull crap, kids might trust you, but you are not to be trusted and the kids know this to be true. The nature you criminalize, will be your downfall. Your system is crumbling, get used to it, your system sucks. It's time for something new to rise from your ashes, it's happening, they see through your lies and you can't handle it. Goood!

[Reply ]

    Re:
    Posted on: 2021-04-06 15:22:27   By: Anonymous
     
    If that’s the rise from the ashes for the change and unity of people. That train of thoughts? Maybe you shouldn’t have been the fastest swimmer. Flushed down the toilet like the Democratic Party strongly believes in.

    [Reply ]

      Re:
      Posted on: 2021-04-06 17:29:20   By: Anonymous
       
      ^There is help for your drinking problem. Hopefully you take advantage of it soon.

      [Reply ]

        Re:
        Posted on: 2021-04-06 21:39:10   By: Anonymous
         
        You a preacher or a local alcoholic that claims to help?

        [Reply ]

          Re:
          Posted on: 2021-04-07 08:01:59   By: Anonymous
           
          Get to the point. DROP ACID.

          [Reply ]

            Re: dope
            Posted on: 2021-04-07 13:29:04   By: Anonymous
             
            What a fcccking joke "smoking dope makes your brain more aware". You've got to be kidding me. MJ is a depressant you idiot.
            Oh and how about MJ is better for you than smoking cigarettes. I never heard of anyone smoking a cigarette getting high and then killing someone while driving their car. You dip*bleep*es!!!! are only in it for the money and the high.

            [Reply ]


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