Cannabis‘ public health harms need a thorough debunking. We’ve covered the cannabis industry‘s public health problem before. But now we’ve got a recent review of existing studies. And the results are favourable for us and unfavourable for public health prohibitionists.
Of course, the problem is “public health” itself. Like “public education,” it confuses the state for civil society. It assumes that individual adults, private organizations, healthcare providers, insurance companies, and other agencies cannot determine and provide quality and accessible healthcare.
There is no “public.” There is only the concerted action of individuals.
Public health is state-mandated health care and narratives about health. For example, public health touts the brain disease theory of addiction as “evidence-based.” Any reasonable opposition to it is misinformation and hate.
Whether advocates realize it or not, public health is about protecting the financial interests of the healthcare industry, particularly large pharmaceutical companies.
That’s why we’ve seen public health go after cannabis as if it were a NyQuil chicken hoax. They say cannabis is highly addictive and will cause schizophrenia in young people. They spread lies about increased fatal traffic accidents and increased levels of depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
How much of this is true? According to a new review of existing studies – none of it. Cannabis legalization leads to a reduction in crime, traffic fatalities, and alcohol consumption.
Cannabis Public Health Harms Debunked – Think of the Children!
Researchers looked at studies published between 2013 and 2020 on the public health effects of cannabis legalization in the legal American states. They included data from both medical and recreational states.
One of the first cannabis public health harms they debunked was increased use among young people. Whenever people talk cannabis, you can usually find some public health busybody decrying, “won’t somebody please think of the children?”
Yet, the researchers “almost without exception” found “little credible evidence” that legalization increases minors’ use.
On the contrary, they found “convincing evidence” that legalization results in fewer young adults drinking alcohol. A number of studies in the review concluded that people often dropped the booze for the herb.
If public health can’t see that for the success it is, then there’s no hope for them.
Public health busybodies are always whining about increased hospitalizations of children accidentally consuming cannabis (ignoring that legalization creates this statistical anomaly since parents aren’t admitting to consumption in illegal states).
But researchers found that legalization not only results in decreased alcohol sales but also “large reductions in alcohol-related hospital admissions among males 15-25-years-old.”
“These studies… have, in our opinion, gone a long way towards settling the debate over whether alcohol and marijuana are complements or substitutes, at least among young adults,” the authors wrote.
But, of course, in this world of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” male teenagers getting their stomachs pumped is not a concern. The problem is shitty parents who don’t keep cannabis edibles out of reach of their kids. Let’s restrict everyone’s liberty because of that.
Cannabis Public Health Harms Debunked – Male Suicides
This review of studies also found that cannabis legalization correlated with an 11% reduction in suicides in men aged 20-29 and a 9% reduction in male suicides among 30-39-year-olds.
I’m starting to notice a pattern here.
It’s as if a marginal risk to children or the mentally ill warrants criminal prohibition of a nontoxic plant. But a reduction in young male suicides and alcohol abuse? Crickets.
Yet the paper’s conclusions should be headlines everywhere. “If, as most studies based on well-defined natural experiments suggest, alcohol and marijuana are treated as substitutes then legalising marijuana could improve mental health and ultimately reduce suicides,” it states.
The review also found “little evidence” that suggests cannabis encourages tobacco smoking. If anything, it has “discouraged its use,” says the paper.
Likewise, the study associates access to medical cannabis with reductions in prescription medications, especially for those related to depression, anxiety, and epilepsy.
Legal cannabis also appears to reduce workplace injuries. However, the authors admit that the data in this area is inadequate to form a solid conclusion.
Likewise, “For other public health outcomes such as mortality involving prescription opioids, the effect of legalising medical marijuana has proven more difficult to gauge,” the authors write.
Cannabis Public Health Harms Debunked – Road Safety
When it comes to cannabis and the road, we’ve already debunked many of these alleged public health harms. But while we’ve demonstrated why studies linking cannabis to fatal accidents are bunk, this review studies shows that “road safety improves when medical marijuana is legalised.”
Legal cannabis may also discourage drunk driving, speculates the study.
Of course, as with many cannabis-related studies, the devil is in the details. Even the authors admit,
It is not yet clear how legalising marijuana for recreational purposes will affect these and other important public health outcomes… We will be able to draw stronger conclusions when more post-treatment data are collected in states that have recently legalised recreational marijuana.
But What About the Children?
There are people in this world who will oppose cannabis legalization because it helps young white males. We can safely ignore these people. Unless they’re in public health. Then you’re mandated to listen to them.
Does cannabis legalization result in positive public health outcomes? According to this recent review of existing studies, the answer is an unequivocal yes.
Will public health busybodies do a 180 on cannabis and promote it to reduce alcohol abuse and male suicide rates?
Of course, not. You still can’t patent cannabis. And at the end of the day, that’s all “public health” means.
Your health. Brought to you by special interests.
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