The study, published in the Journal of Drug Issues found that legalization does not necessarily lead to increased rates of mental illness. Researchers looked at national data from 2007-2016 and discovered that states with legal cannabis use had a rate of 19.7% for cases related to marijuana addiction or dependence, which is slightly higher than their 17% average across all states during this period..

The “schizophrenia symptoms in adults” is a study that has found no correlation between cannabis legalization and increased mental illness.

Study Finds No Correlation Between Cannabis Legalization and Increased Mental Illness

When cannabis legalization gained traction and support, many who opposed the policy changes cited fears that legalization would raise the risk of mental illness and even suicide among those impacted. However, according to a research, this is not the case, implying that proponents of legalization are making false claims. Opponents are likely to use studies that connect frequent cannabis use to mental illness, despite the fact that such findings have been debunked by research and do not even pertain to legalization.

The link between cannabis use, mental health, and suicide has been a contentious subject among supporters and opponents of cannabis legalization. Supporters of cannabis have used evidence of the drug’s potential to heal mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to refute accusations that marijuana causes mental disease. Despite this proof, opponents of the plant continue to assert that it increases the risk of mental illness and/or suicide.

A group of scholars from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Yale Law School, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation, and other institutions have agreed to look into the issue. The researchers drew on a prior study that looked at a potential link between cannabis and mental illness, and confirmed the initial study’s results that no such link exists.

Expanding on Prior Findings

Jeffrey Singer, Jacob Rich, Michael Schemenaur, and Robert Capodilupo decided to look into the conclusions of a research published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2014 that showed no link between legalized cannabis and mental illness or suicide risk. The researchers sought to see whether the past study was still true in today’s world, particularly in light of anti-legalization organizations’ statements.

According to Singer, cannabis is allowed for recreational use in 19 states and the District of Columbia, while medicinal cannabis is available in 35 states. Following the same technique as the 2014 research, the team conducted a state-level longitudinal analysis utilizing available data on suicide and mental health morbidity rates from the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.


“We discovered that recreational marijuana availability was related with a 6.29 percent drop in suicide rates for males aged 40 to 49,” Singer says. “However, no other mental health outcomes were impacted by marijuana law liberalization.” The paper is now accessible for viewing, however it is undergoing peer review before being published in a prominent scientific journal.

Concerns about an unproven link between cannabis use and mental illness should not deter state or federal efforts to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, according to Singer and his team, as medical and recreational use of cannabis becomes more common and widespread. This is especially true given the vast amount of data supporting cannabis’ therapeutic benefits. Legalization at the federal level, according to the researchers, will allow for more extensive study and outcomes.

Other Studies Back You Up

While the study done by Singer et al. supports the data from 2014 that refutes anti-legalization proponents’ assertions, numerous other studies demonstrate the relationship between cannabis and enhanced mental health. In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers discovered that persons with PTSD who smoked cannabis were less likely to have significant depressive episodes or suicidal thoughts than those who did not.

Furthermore, numerous studies have revealed no increase in teenage cannabis usage as a result of legalization. In fact, a research published in 2020 indicated a decline in teenage cannabis usage. Other research have shown no link between teenage cannabis use and the legalization of the drug. So, contrary to what some anti-cannabis legalization advocates allege, there is no link between cannabis legalization and underage cannabis usage.

“…also supports previous research by Anderson et al. (2021) indicating that average marijuana usage among teenagers could marginally decline after recreational marijuana access legislation,” Singer et al. write. Although the reasons for this are unknown, it is possible that the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal for recreational use has reduced the number of black-market drug dealers willing to sell psychoactive substances to children who are still developing cognitively.”

Cannabis legalization is still a contentious issue, but the truth is that there is no conclusive link between cannabis use and mental illness or suicide. Nonetheless, research like this should be carried out in the future to guarantee that persons voting on legalization measures, especially on ballots, are making educated selections.


Chane Leigh, nicknamed The Bud Fairy, is a cannabis advocate and enthusiast from South Africa with a fiery personality and a desire to travel. She enjoys educating others and challenging social conventions.

A new study has found that there is no correlation between cannabis legalization and increased mental illness. The study was conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which is a nonpartisan research organization in the United States. Reference: is schizophrenia genetic.

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