Marijuana’s Legal Status Doesn’t Increase Likelihood of Problematic Use

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Statewide cannabis legalization is not positively associated with an increased risk of adults abusing the substance, according to data published in the journal Drugs In Context.

Australian researchers assessed whether the legal status of cannabis in US states impacted the likelihood of adults using it problematically.

They concluded: “Our results also show that legalization status in the USA is not associated with problematic cannabis use and impulsivity. The current findings go beyond prior studies to suggest that, at this point in time, the legalization status of cannabis has not shown an association with cannabis use amongst frequent users, a finding supported by a growing body of literature.”

The findings are consistent with those of prior studies showing declines in the prevalence of so-called ‘cannabis use disorder’ and other measurements of problematic cannabis use in the United States despite the enactment of statewide marijuana liberalization laws.

Full text of the study, “Exploring the association of legalization status of cannabis with problematic cannabis use and impulsivity in the USA,” appears online.

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