Published: Thu, April 27, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Colorado Dispensaries Make Bank On Recreational Marijuana

Colorado Dispensaries Make Bank On Recreational Marijuana

States that adopted medical marijuana laws had a 1.43 percentage point increase in illicit cannabis use and a 0.66 percentage point increase in cannabis use disorder between 1991 and 2013, compared to states that didn't enact those laws.

The risks of medical marijuana laws are important to convey, said lead author Deborah Hasin, of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in NY.

Additionally, the physician must be available to or offer to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient to determine the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana as a treatment.

Be aware that cannabis usage may be more socially acceptable in states with medical marijuana laws, leading to an increase in reporting in the absence of a true increase of illicit use.

That's the basic conclusion of a study published today that has reignited the debate over whether marijuana laws encourage illegal use of cannabis.

Researchers reviewed national substance abuse surveys from three time periods: 1991-92, 2001-02 and 2012-13.

The study included survey data analysis from 118,497 adults completing the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (1991-1992), the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (2001-2002) or the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions III (2012-2013).

"While research continues to gather evidence to that end, clinicians are faced with the reality reinforced by the findings from Hasin et al. that cannabis use is increasing among adults living in states that have legalized medical marijuana", they wrote. The rise in illicit use ranged from 3.5 percent in states without MMLs to 7 percent in states that had legalized medical marijuana.

Having said that, one of the reasons other states have been wary of taking this step is that the attitude of the federal government has been less than hospitable towards the marijuana industry.

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

Much attention has been paid to the effect on youth, and studies have not documented more teen use because of marijuana legalization.

Colorado may prohibit law enforcement officers from assisting in a potential federal marijuana crackdown.

During January and February, Colorado racked up $235 million in total marijuana sales, a 30 percent spike compared to the state's recreational and medical pot sales during the same time in 2016, according to a report by Cannabis Benchmarks, a company that tracks marijuana sales and prices, released by Marijuana Business Daily Monday. Thus, identifying factors underlying increased adult illicit use is important.

For their study, Hasin and team investigated whether MMLs might be contributing to illicit use of the drug and marijuana use disorders.

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

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

The analysis also revealed that in remaining early-MML states, the prevalence of use and disorders increased.

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