The latest science “debunks the old myths” that surround marijuana use. This is according to Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). He notes that “over 23,000 peer-reviewed papers” relating to marijuana has shown that modern science has already proven the “government’s claims that the herb is a highly dangerous substance lacking therapeutic efficacy,” is false.
He highlights 5 studies that stand out above the rest.
A Study that shows that Marijuana Abuse is Declining
Researchers from the Washington School of Medicine in St Louis have found that between 2002 and 2013, marijuana use disorders have declined. This comes despite a 19% rise in the number of people who admit to marijuana use.
“We’re certainly seeing some increases in marijuana use,” said the lead researcher of the study. “But our survey didn’t notice any increase in marijuana-related problems. Certainly, some people are having problems so we should remain vigilant, but the sky is not falling.”
Last year, a paper claimed that cannabis use had doubled over the last decade. It also estimated that one third of these people were using marijuana “problematically.” The Washington School of Medicine’s paper seems to contradict both claims of this study.
Marijuana use causes Drivers to take greater care while Driving
A federal study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology studied the effect of cannabis vapor on test subjects’ simulated driving behavior. What they found was that cannabis use caused drivers to decrease speed, and leave a larger gap between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. They found that alcohol had the opposite effect, causing drivers to accelerate and move closer to vehicles in front of them.
“The compensatory behavior exhibited by cannabis-influenced drivers distinctly contrasts with an alcohol-induced higher risk behavior,” said the researchers.
Smoking Marijuana does not cause Depression; instead, Depressed People turn to Marijuana
A study that lasted three years and analysed the behavior of 8,600 men, found that there was no link between marijuana use and depression or anxiety.
Correlation is not causation; some test subjects who were already suffering from depression were found to have turned to marijuana use. On the other hand, they were also more likely to also use other types of illegal drugs.
Marijuana use reduces pain and reduces a Patient’s reliance on Highly Addictive Opioid Painkillers
According to clinical trial data reported in the Clinical Journal of Pain, cannabis use was found to reduce pain in two thirds of the 176 patients examined. All of them were unaffected by other sorts of pain medication. Not only were their pain scores improved, most also believe that they had experienced a “robust” improvement in their quality of life.
The overall amount of opiods used also declined by 44%.
Noted in the First Study, passing Medical Marijuana Laws does not lead to increased Teen Usage.
According to a review of US federal drug use data from between 2002 and 2011, “[T]here is no evidence of a differential increase in past-month marijuana use in youth that can be attributed to state MML (medical marijuana laws).”
Though the states where medical marijuana has been legalised possess higher rates of marijuana ussage, these states already had higher levels of marijuana consumption, with the new laws not contributing to this.
This study is corroborated by the findings of researchers from Columbia University in New York and the University of Michigan, among several other studies, who conclude that:
“[T]he results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in adolescent marijuana use after the passage of state laws permitting use of marijuana for medical purposes. … [C]oncerns that increased marijuana use is an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seem unfounded.”
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