A year and a half after Michigan’s first pot shops opened, a new study shows a link between Marijuana use and suicide in young adults. The study published online Tuesday in JAMA Network Open, the free, online journal of the American Medical Association.
The study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which analyzed data from more than 280,000 people ages 18 to 35, suggests the users thought about suicide, planned suicide or attempted it more often than people who don’t use Marijuana. The findings come as Marijuana usage increases across the country and as more states like Michigan where the first Marijuana stores opened in December 2019 legalize it for recreational use.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of adults in the United States who use cannabis jumped from 22.6 million in 2008 to 45 million in 2019. The number of daily or near-daily users increased from 3.6 million to 9.8 million during that same time. While the researchers aren’t saying that Marijuana is causing suicidal thoughts or actions, they are pointing out that people who use pot are more prone to suicidal thoughts or actions.
Researchers studied data from four groups of people: those who do not use pot, those who use Marijuana but don’t use it every day, those who use it daily, and those who are addicted to it. Among people who did not report having depression, 3% of people who do not use Marijuana reported thoughts of suicide, compared to 7% of nondaily cannabis users, 9% of daily cannabis users and 14% of those addicted to cannabis.