Use changes after recreational marijuana legalization

November 13, 2019

Bottom Line: How the legalization of recreational marijuana in some states was associated with changes in marijuana use and cannabis use disorder compared to other states from 2008 to 2016 was the focus of this study. Researchers used national survey data from nearly 506,000 participants in age groups from 12 to 17, 18 to 25, and 26 or older. The authors report that after the legalization of recreational marijuana, the proportion of respondents 12 to 17 reporting past-year cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%. Also, the proportion of respondents 26 or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 0.90% to 1.23%. No associations were found among those respondents 18 to 25. A limitation of the study is its reliance on self-reported marijuana use. The increases in use and risk of cannabis use disorder observed in this study are potential public health concerns.

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Authors: Magdalena Cerdá, Dr.P.H., of the New York University School of Medicine, New York, and coauthors.


Editor's Note: The article includes conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Magdalena Cerdá, Dr.P.H., email Sasha Walek at The full study, editorial and podcast are linked to this news release.

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JAMA Psychiatry

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