Higher Illicit Pot Use in States That OK Medical Marijuana: Study

marijuana - drug warriorsUS News 26 April 2017
Family First Comment: THIS is why we should tread very cautiously around medicinal marijuana.
“States with medical marijuana laws also saw an increase in people who can’t stop using pot even though it’s interfering with many aspects of their lives, researchers said. This is known as cannabis use disorder. These laws “seem to send a message that use of this drug is safe and acceptable in some way,” said lead researcher Deborah Hasin of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
#saynopetodope

An unintended byproduct of medical marijuana laws could be a sharper increase in illicit pot use, a new U.S. study reports.

Illicit pot use increased significantly more in states that passed medical marijuana laws compared to other states, researchers found in comparing three national surveys conducted between 1991 and 2013.

States with medical marijuana laws also saw an increase in people who can’t stop using pot even though it’s interfering with many aspects of their lives, researchers said. This is known as cannabis use disorder.

These laws “seem to send a message that use of this drug is safe and acceptable in some way,” said lead researcher Deborah Hasin of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

With this implicit message, more people feel free to use pot as they would alcohol, as a means to relax or to cope with problems like anxiety or depression, said Hasin, a professor of epidemiology.

The proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries also might promote illicit use, said Rosalie Pacula, director of the RAND Corporation’s Bing Center for Health Economics.

Medical marijuana states that restrict the number of dispensaries and tightly regulate the system appear to have different illicit pot use patterns from states like California and Colorado, where the laws amounted to a “de facto legalization system,” said Pacula, who wasn’t involved with the study.

“It’s the commercialization of the medical marijuana industry that has led to spillover into this recreational market,” she added.

California passed the first medical cannabis law in 1996. Today, a total of 29 states have approved medical marijuana, and eight states have legalized recreational pot use.

Hasin and her colleagues estimate that medical marijuana laws have led to an additional 1.1 million adults illicitly using pot and 500,000 more adults with a diagnosable cannabis disorder.

The researchers relied on data from more than 118,000 adults gathered in three national surveys stretching fom 1991 to 2013.

In 1991, no Americans lived in states with medical marijuana, but by 2012, more than one-third lived in states that had accepted medical pot.

The studies showed that illicit pot use in states that passed medical marijuana laws tended to lead non-legalization states by 1.4 percentage points on average. Medical pot states also led other states in cannabis use disorders by an average 0.7 percentage points.

The increase in cannabis use disorders could stem from the increasing potency of pot that has occurred under legalization, Hasin said.

These trends could become even more pronounced in states that have fully legalized recreational marijuana, she added.

“It seems like everything we might see with medical marijuana laws would be accentuated in recreational marijuana laws,” Hasin said.
READ MORE: http://health.usnews.com/health-care/articles/2017-04-26/higher-illicit-pot-use-in-states-that-ok-medical-marijuana-study

Illegal Marijuana Use, Abuse Rising in States With Legalized Pot, Study Says
US News 26 April 2017
New findings suggest illegal pot smoking and abuse of the drug are on the rise in states that have legalized medical marijuana – and at a faster rate than in states that have held off on passing similar laws.

A team of researchers reported Wednesday that nationwide data suggests marijuana use and marijuana use disorders – in which people use the drug in unhealthy or abusive ways – increased at a “significantly greater rate” in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without the laws, according to the findings published online in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Twenty-eight states had passed medical marijuana laws as of November 2016, according to the study.

Researchers analyzed data surveyed from nearly 118,500 participants in 39 states between 1991 and 1992, 2001 and 2002 and 2012 and 2013. The rates of illegal pot use increased in all of those states over the course of the study, according to the findings.
READ MORE: https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-04-26/illegal-marijuana-use-abuse-rising-in-states-with-legalized-pot-study-says
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