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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Study: Pot abuse hasn’t increased in states with legal recreational marijuana

27 September (WNN) — A study published Monday by JAMA Network Open found that marijuana abuse has not increased in states that have enacted laws legalizing recreational forms of the drug.

Statistics show that less than 2% of people living in states that have legalized recreational marijuana use have been diagnosed with a marijuana use disorder.

In comparison, more than 1% of residents in nonvalidated states indicated that they had been given a marijuana use disorder diagnosis.

Although legalization laws have had different effects on marijuana use among different racial and ethnic groups, according to the researchers, Hispanics were 33% more likely to report past year use of the drug after legalization. Is.

Similarly, white people living in states that allow recreational use were 21% more likely to indicate use last year, when the drug was still illegal.

Conversely, the enactment of laws allowing the use of recreational marijuana has resulted in any change in the behavior of black people.

In all racial and ethnic – as well as age-groups – reported daily use of marijuana did not increase substantially even after legalizing recreational use.

This suggests that there was not an increase in marijuana use disorder in these states, the researchers said.

Study co-author Sylvia S. Martins told WNN in an email, “In states that legalized cannabis for adult use, at least the first few years after recreational cannabis legalization, cannabis use only increased in certain demographic subgroups.” Is.”

“And, there was almost no increase in cannabis use frequency and cannabis use disorder,” said Martins, director of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

In addition, there was no increase in drug use among adolescents aged 12 to 20 after the passage of these laws, citing a primary concern in their opposition, she said.

Since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2012, 17 other states have passed similar laws, according to the National Convention of State Legislatures.

Research shows that drug use has increased in these states following these laws.

However, before the drug’s legalization in many parts of the country, people of color were four times more likely than white people to face criminal charges for possession and use, the American Civil Liberties Union reported.

To assess the effects of recreational marijuana laws on drug use across racial and ethnic groups, Martins and her colleagues analyzed data on use among nearly 840,000 people in the United States.

The analysis tracked usage trends between 2008 and 2020 among people living in states that did not, as well as those with legislation allowing recreational use during that period.

More than 16% of participants living in states with laws that have legalized recreational marijuana reported use in the past year, compared with more than 10% of those living in states where the drug is illegal.

Similarly, 11% of participants in states who reported use last month legalized the drug, compared to 6% in non-legalized states.

Hispanics were 45% more likely to report marijuana use in the past month after their states legalized recreational use before the law change, while white people were 24% more likely to do so.

Less than 2% of participants living in legalization states have been diagnosed with a marijuana use disorder, while more than 1% of those living in states in which the drug is illegal, the data showed.

“We have not seen a significant increase in repeated cannabis use and cannabis use disorders post-adult cannabis use legalization in most demographic subgroups, but we do see, as expected, increases in use in certain demographic subgroups,” Martins said.

“Monitoring both the unintended and intended consequences that may result from variation in the effects of different recreational policy provisions by race/ethnicity along with recreational policy enactment,” she said.


World Nation News Desk
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