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Marijuana Can Help Prevent Suicide, Study Suggests

Marijuana does many magical things, not the least of which is make dubstep listenable. In Los Angeles, we use it pretty much legally for back pain, nausea and hot tubbing.

But a new study from Germany says that, in U.S. states like California where marijuana has become medically legit, rates of suicide have gone down.

The researchers note that suicide is often triggered by "stressful life events." And you know what can take away the pain?

No. Not Enrique Iglesias. Stress! Or rather, chronic. Depending.

The academics note that "California includes anxiety as a qualifying condition" to obtain medical pot, "while Delaware and New Mexico both allow the use of medical marijuana for post traumatic stress disorder ... "

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, with the help of American researchers such as Daniel I. Rees of the University of Colorado's Department of Economics, recently published their findings in a paper called High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide (PDF):

Our results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males.

The study takes some wild guesses, and one of them is that maybe medical marijuana users are cutting out the alcohol, which can be depressive

California likely to vote on marijuana legalization in November

A tech billionaire’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana in California has taken a major step toward the November ballot.

Known as the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” the ballot measure legalizes possession of small amounts of cannabis for adults, establishes tax rates and a structure for farmers to grow pot, and creates the framework for a statewide distribution system. It has likely collected enough signatures to qualify for the fall ballot, although it still must receive formal certification from state elections officials, its proponents said Wednesday.

Medical marijuana use has been legal in California since 1996, but the proposal backed by former Facebook president Sean Parker opens up marijuana use for all adults, not just those with a doctor’s note.

"This is a game changer," said Calif. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is backing the initiative, at a press conference Wednesday, which was made public via Periscope. "We have a chance to lead a national dialogue, a national debate.”

The California Police Chiefs Association is helping coordinate an opposition campaign that also includes sheriffs deputies and Teamsters.

The stakes are huge. Experts say legal marijuana could be worth billions for California, not just through taxes, but through a new network of licensed cultivation, distribution and testing facilities, all of which will need employees, construction workers and equipment. Nationwide, by 2020, adult use and medical marijuana sales are expected to reach nearly $23 billion, triple this year, based in part on California's legalization.