The Study States 20% Increase in Frequency of Cannabis Use in States Where Recreational Use Legalized

People living in places where recreational cannabis is legal use it 20% more often than those living in states where it is banned, according to research published Thursday in the journal Addiction, amid a rise in cannabis users worldwide.

KEY FACTS

  • Researchers from the University of Minnesota used survey data from the Colorado Boulder Center for Antisocial Drug Dependence of nearly 3,500 participants between 2018 and 2021, after Colorado became the first state to legalise recreational cannabis in 2014. The results showed that people in Colorado reported using cannabis 24% more frequently than in Minnesota.
  • Researchers say that using data from the Minnesota Center for Twin Family Research, which has looked into more than a hundred pairs of identical twins in the two states, lets them take into account factors like family environment and genetics that could confuse the results.
  • Cannabis, which can only be used for medical reasons, was used 20% more by siblings in Colorado than in Minnesota.

  • Those who used cannabis regularly before its legalisation were also shown to have increased their usage following legalization, but those who had never used cannabis before did not start using it.
  • These findings add to those of a study published on Monday by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which found that 43% of U.S. adults aged 19 to 30 had used cannabis in the previous year, up nine percentage points from the 34% of young adults who reported using it five years ago. In the same NIH study, hallucinogens like LSD, peyote, and psychedelic mushrooms were also found to be on the rise.

 CONTRA

  • Several recent studies have shown that cannabis users have significantly increased risks of being hospitalised or attending the emergency department, despite the claims by proponents of recreational dispensaries that cannabis poses no substantial health risk.

    Although the authors of a study published in June in BMJ Open Respiratory Research could not prove that cannabis use caused the increase in ER visits, they did find that people who used cannabis were 22% more likely to go to the emergency room for a variety of reasons, including acute trauma, respiratory problems, and gastrointestinal issues.

    The number of children hospitalised due to “unintentional cannabis poisonings” has increased six-fold in Canada since the nation legalized the sale of recreational cannabis in 2018. The study was published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research found that the increase was much more pronounced in provinces where cannabis-infused candies, chocolates, and baked products are legal, including Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. There is an argument that cannabinoid-infused sweets might be more enticing to kids.

Also read: A Third State Will Vote On Marijuana Legalization This November

RELEVANT CONTEXT

Despite federal prohibition, cannabis has been authorized for recreational use in 19 states and the District of Columbia, making it available to 141 million Americans. Efforts to legalize it are being considered in other states, including Oklahoma.

Although the sale of medical cannabis has been legalized in 37 states so far, there is still a lot we don’t know about the benefits of either CBD or the psychoactive compound THC, despite evidence suggesting CBD may help treat chronic pain, sleep loss, eating disorders, and Parkinson’s disease.

According to a Gallup survey published in November 2018, the percentage of Americans who want legalization increased by 10 points from 2013, reaching 68% in 2021. This includes 83% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans.

In an April 2021 Pew Research study, Sixty percent of Americans supported legalizing marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, 31 percent supported legalization solely for medical purposes, and 8 percent opposed legalization for any purpose.

In April, the House of Representatives adopted a measure to end the federal ban for the second time; however, similar attempts in the Senate have stagnated. But Democrats in the Senate have offered their bill to remove the ban in the last month, which is widely anticipated to fail.

Also read: Election on “recreational marijuana”- For Missourians or Politicians?

 BIG NUMBER

The sum of $25 billion is HUGE. That’s how much cash flowed into shops throughout the United States in 2021, thanks to the booming cannabis industry, according to experts in the field of economics. Researchers at MJBiz estimate that annual legal sales will reach $33 billion by the year’s end.

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