Speed Reads

Reefer Madness

Studies: Legal pot can make communities healthier and safer

A collection of recent research on states that have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana use finds that legal pot can actually make communities safer and healthier by a variety of metrics. These benefits include:

Lower suicide rates, including a drop of 10.9 percent for men aged 20-29, a high-risk group.

♦ An 8 to 11 percent drop in traffic fatalities, the leading cause of death for Americans age 5 to 34 (Colorado in particular has seen highway fatalities plunge).

♦ Lower rates of violent crime and property crime — 5.6 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively, in Denver.

Oh, and when weed is legal, it seems to be less appealing to teenagers: Teen marijuana use is on the decline as it becomes legal in more and more states.