Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The discussion of the legalization of marijuana is widely known throughout the United States, but the topic whether not it increases the number of suicides annually has been cooking on the back burner. Colorado is top choice for researching any topic related to medical marijuana because it “has received national attention for its approach to marijuana” and is most regulated by officials. Based off of Colorado’s records of medical marijuana recipients and suicide database, a more accurate representation of the potential connection between the two can be found. This article questions whether or not there is an actual connection and ultimately claims it cannot be completely determine either answer.
The purpose of for this the topic and research is to shed more light on the subject of marijuana and suicide being connected, from an educated stand point based on data results and psychologists. This author does not seem to have a biased agenda; instead the author addresses the possibility of biased opinions in multiple parts in the article. This article is part of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, therefore this author comes from an informative agenda, addressing the struggling community of addiction consisting of addicts and those who care for addicts.
The audience this article is expecting is one with a decent education; there aren’t any large or unrecognizable words in the article, but the way some of the data is presented can only be interpreted by someone who has been in an advanced high school science class or has been a college undergraduate. Knowledge about recent marijuana laws seems to be necessary to decipher this article. The ages targeted through this article are 20-40 years of age , because of who this research is based on. The marijuana recipients and the completed suicide community studied are between these ages, so readers that are around the ages of the people studied makes this article more relatable and more enticing to read.
The reader’s trust for the author’s general sense of the topic and knowledge background increases when the author addresses “the difficulty in conducting research on the role of medical marijuana use in suicide completions is a reflection of the small number of suicides, limitations in obtaining accurate information on marijuana use in deceased subjects, and controlling for confounding factors such as comorbid substance use, depression and anxiety” . The results of the research this article is based on says there are too many factors in people’s lives when studying to determine a definite answer to whether or not there is a direct correlation between medical marijuana and increases suicides annually. The author only cites official statistics from the law enforcement of Colorado and references individuals with medical and psychological qualifications from the state.
The writer of this article does not have a definite answer to the question “does the legalization of medical marijuana increase completed suicide”. In the discussion section of the article the author recognizes “given limitations in data sources, a prospective design may be needed to better quantify this risk in light of the recent legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado”. The data collected does not prove that legalizing medical marijuana increases the number of completed suicide, but also doesn’t rule out a connection. The charts and tables in this article certainly support that the proper research methods were conducted and make the results explained in the paragraphs easier for the reader to understand. The sources of all the figures are easily located for the reader to verify if the trust for the author isn’t confident. The topic of legalizing marijuana is usually discussed on whether it is a health risk or not, but this author wants to find if there is a relation to suicide; reasons that someone takes their own life is something both families and alienated people are concerned with. This article is deeply informative, therefore not a distraction tactic. One could actually argue that the general discussion of the health risks claimed to come from marijuana distract from the real issues like suicide.