July 26, 2017

Higher Illicit Pot Use in States That OK Medical Marijuana

27 April 2017, 02:29 | Elizabeth Houston

Editorial: Texas is not ready for medical marijuana

Drive Through Marijuana Shop

However, changing state laws (medical or recreational) may also have adverse public health consequences.

He cited "a growing body of research" suggesting marijuana's chemicals can help with 'pain, nausea, epilepsy, obesity, wasting disease, addiction, autoimmune disorders, and other conditions'. In 1991-1992, no Americans lived in states with medical marijuana laws, while in 2012, more than one-third lived in states with medical marijuana laws, and fewer view cannabis use as risky.

As of November 2016, a total of 28 states have passed medical marijuana laws, according to the study, published today (April 26) in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Hasin, Ph.D., of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and coauthors used data collected from 118,497 adults from three national surveys: the 1991-1992 National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey, the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the 2012-2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III.

The researchers analyzed responses to national surveys from almost 120,000 adults from 39 states.

In states that never legalized medical marijuana, the average prevalence of illicit use was 4.54 percent in 1991 and 1992, rising to 6.70 percent in 2012 and 2013. The rise in illicit use ranged from 3.5 percent in states without MMLs to 7 percent in states that had legalized medical marijuana.

The researchers defined illegal use as any use of marijuana that didn't conform with the laws within the respondents' state.

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In particular, the biannual poll conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed that teen marijuana use fell dramatically in Colorado after the state opened its recreational marijuana market.

Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state. Ohio's law, passed past year, allows people with one of 21 medical conditions to buy and use marijuana if recommended by a physician.

For their study, Hasin and team investigated whether MMLs might be contributing to illicit use of the drug and marijuana use disorders. Thus, identifying factors underlying increased adult illicit use is important.

Most recent research has concluded that marijuana legalization laws do not prompt an increase in use of the drug by teens.

According to the NDAA Perspective, "As a Schedule I drug, federal authorities have found that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use, and lacks safety for use under medical supervision".

Nevada has been looking at several more bills this month that relate to how marijuana will be regulated in the state.

In an editorial accompanying the new study, Dr. Wilson Compton of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues say policymakers need to understand which parts of medical marijuana laws are tied with positive and negative effects. "The impact could be very different in different places due to the implementation of the laws".

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