New Marijuana Laws Associated With Increase in Cannabis-Related Health Problems Interview with:

Deborah S. Hasin, Ph.D. Professor of Epidemiology Columbia University New York, New York 10032

Dr. Hasin

Deborah S. Hasin, Ph.D.
Professor of Epidemiology
Columbia University
New York, New York 10032 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Among adults, the prevalence of cannabis use and cannabis use disorders has increased in recent years. Concerns have been raised that for various reasons, medical marijuana laws would promote use of cannabis and consequently, cannabis-related consequences.

Many studies show that this didn’t happen among adolescents, but very little was known about the relationship between medical marijuana laws and adults. Using data from three surveys spanning the years 1991-2013, the study findings suggested that medical marijuana laws did play a role in increasing rates of cannabis use and cannabis use disorders. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: While some people can use cannabis without consequences, cannabis is not a harmless substance. The criteria for cannabis use disorders include experiences such as withdrawal, tolerance, hazardous use (e.g. driving under the influence) and inability to function in major social roles. As marijuana laws become increasingly permissive, unintended consequences may include increasing rates of cannabis-related health problems. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Studies should examine outcomes other than cannabis, such as opioid use, analyze additional datasets, and expand to include the effects of the newer recreational marijuana laws, which have been passed in 8 states as of November, 2016. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: JAMA

Melanie M. Wall, PhD et al. US Adult Illicit Cannabis Use, Cannabis Use Disorder, and Medical Marijuana Laws: 1991-1992 to 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry, April 2017 DOI: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0724

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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