Guest Column: Marijuana and Teen Suicide

By John Stonestreet

A feature of life in Colorado is the prevalence of pot. There are dispensaries on virtually every corner, and everywhere I travel I hear a pot joke. Something else my adopted state is becoming known for is the harmful aftereffects of legalized marijuana. According to state statistics, the drug was found in the system of some 42% of teen suicides, a rate nearly twice as much as with alcohol and four times of any other substances.  

Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation, but it can mean connection. If nearly half of stroke victims were taking the same medicine, would we wonder if there was a link? Why the reluctance to connect the dots here?  

Marijuana might not cause suicide, but numbers don’t lie. It encourages or exacerbates problems that lead down that deadly road, especially for a group at high risk. The link is there for those willing to see it. Since suicide rates have risen every year that it has been legal, we’re far past giving the benefit of the doubt.

Copyright 2023 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Marijuana Legalization Tied to Increased Use Among Young Adults Who Don’t Attend College

Research shows that marijuana legalization leads to increased use among young adults who do not attend college.

Researchers from Oregon State University analyzed marijuana use among young adults ages 18-23.

Their findings — which were published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine — revealed that marijuana legalizations was tied to higher use among young adults who were not enrolled in college.

The findings are significant, because young adults who use marijuana face serious health risks.

For example, an NIH study published this year found young men who use marijuana heavily are at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. As many as 30% of schizophrenia cases among men between the ages 21 and 30 could have been prevented by not using marijuana.

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found adults under age 45 who frequently use marijuana are roughly twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack as adults who do not use marijuana.

And a 2021 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found self-harm rates rose 46% among men ages 21 to 39 in states where commercial marijuana sales were legalized.

All of this underscores what we have said for years: Marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.