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Cannabis Use Disorder Up With Recreational Pot Legalization

Past-year cannabis use disorder increased among those aged 12 to 17 years, those aged 26 years and older

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Cannabis use disorder (CUD) has increased among adolescents and adults (≥26 years) after recreational marijuana legalization (RML) enactment, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Magdalena Cerdá, Dr.P.H., from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues used data from the 2008 to 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health among participants in the age groups of 12 to 17 years, 18 to 25 years, and 26 years and older to examine the correlations between RML enactment and changes in marijuana use, frequent use, and CUD.

The researchers found that past-year CUD increased from 2.18 to 2.72 percent after RML enactment among respondents aged 12 to 17 years, which was a 25 percent higher increase than that seen for the same age group in states that did not enact RML (odds ratio, 1.25). CUD rates increased from 22.80 to 27.20 percent among past-year marijuana users in this age group (odds ratio, 1.27). Among respondents aged 26 years or older, after RML enactment, there were increases in past-month marijuana use from 5.65 to 7.10 percent, past-month frequent use from 2.13 to 2.62 percent, and past-year CUD from 0.90 to 1.23 percent (odds ratios, 1.24, 1.28, and 1.36, respectively).

“This study’s findings suggest that possible increases in the risk for cannabis use disorder among adolescent users and increases in frequent use and cannabis use disorder among adults after legalization of recreational marijuana use may raise public health concerns and warrant ongoing study,” the authors write.

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