What happens after a state fully legalizes marijuana? A new study finding shows legal cannabis leads to healthier states, at least when it comes to mental disorders. Over 59 million Canadians and American has some form of mental illness. It has become one of the most pressing health issues in the countries and citizens are struggling with responses. Despite the gloom and doom from some areas, states who legalize weed not only have happier citizens, but gain more tax revenue that alcohol, and have fewer drunk drivers.
In 1981 President Ronald Reagan, who had made major efforts during his Governorship to reduce funding and enlistment for California mental institutions, pushed a political effort through the U.S. Congress to repeal most of Mental Health Systems Act. The MHSA was considered landmark legislation in mental health care policy. The repeal lead the way to the homeless and mental issues crises today.
This study finds in the early years following states’ adoption of legal marijuana, there was a 37% decrease in mental treatment admissions. The results are driven by those under 65, Black, and white individuals. There is also a significant decrease in Medicaid-funded treatment admissions, with a much smaller statistically insignificant effect for non-Medicaid admissions.
Data also revealed a 37% reduction in admission to mental health facilities, which translates to around 92 fewer out of 10,000 people in the state. Cost saving all around and better patient outcomes.
The CDC has deemed the growing prevalence of mental health disorders and suicides a “serious public health problem”. So it would seem this is a positive outcome for states, health care systems and the public alike.
In 2020, among adults aged 18 or older who had any mental illness in the past year and a perceived unmet need for services, 30% reported not receiving care because their health insurance did not cover any mental health services or did not pay enough for mental health services. This number was similar for those with serious mental illnesses.
Respected research has shown cannabis and medical marijuana has benefits, and at the vary least is better than alcohol for the human body and brain.
Mental illnesses are common. It is estimated that more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness. Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. It seems the federal government should use this data to evaluation a push for marijuana legalization.