Costs of Marijuana Legalization

A Medical & Social Catastrophe in the Making: Missouri May Legalize Addicting High THC Marijuana in 2022
National Center for Biotechnology Information 2002, July

In the November 2022 state elections, the heinous marijuana industry may get legal recreational cannabis. This will eventually destroy Missouri’s health and social fabric as it has in other states. This may be prevented, but only with immediate, widespread, effective opposition...

Association of Recreational Cannabis Legalization With Alcohol Use Among Adults
JAMA Health Forum 2002, Nov 18

This study including 4.2 million adults in all 50 states from 2010 to 2019 found that recreational cannabis laws may be associated with increased alcohol use, primarily among younger adults and men. These findings suggest that increased alcohol use may be an unintended consequence of recreational cannabis laws…

Geographical variation in hospitalization for psychosis associated with cannabis use and cannabis legalization in the United States: Submit to: Psychiatry Research
National Center for Biotechnology Information 2022, January 4

Hospitalizations for psychosis/cannabis use more likely in areas where cannabis legalized.

Recreational cannabis legalization associated with greater rate of hospitalization for psychosis associated with cannabis use.•

Findings warrant future longitudinal studies to evaluate psychosis in U.S. states…

Public health impacts to date of the legalisation of medical and recreational cannabis use in the USA National Center for Biotechnology Information 2021 August 1

The legality of cannabis use has been changing in a number of jurisdictions around the world. In the U.S., it has been legalised for medicinal and/or recreational uses in 34 jurisdictions and counting. This study leverages the decades-long experience of legalisation in the U.S. to provide an overview of the associated changes in public attitudes, cannabis markets and adverse health effects. Potency of cannabis products increased significantly while prices fell sharply. Overall, past-year cannabis use has increased in adults since 2002, and adults over 26 years old who resided in states with medicinal cannabis laws were more likely to have used cannabis in the past 30 days, to have used daily, and to have higher rates of cannabis use disorders than adults who resided in states without legalised medicinal cannabis. Traffic fatalities involving cannabis temporarily increased in some states post-legalisation, and there were more presentations to medical services related to chronic regular cannabis use. There is suggestive evidence that adverse health consequences have increased among people who use cannabis regularly since legalisation…

Legalization and retail availability in Oregon linked to higher levels of adolescent marijuana use
News Medical 2020 January 21

This study shows that there was a statewide increase in the prevalence of marijuana use among Oregon adolescents after legalization in 2015, and that greater retail availability of marijuana in counties that permit recreational marijuana sales is positively associated with both marijuana use and beliefs favorable toward its use among adolescents.

The results of the study show that:

  • Higher rates of past-30-day marijuana use and more favorable beliefs were found in counties that allow recreational marijuana sales both before and after legalization;
  • Prevalence of past-30-day marijuana use increased after legalization both in counties that did and did not allow sales;
  • The relationship between allowing recreational marijuana sales and adolescent marijuana use was accounted for by greater retail marijuana availability and favorable beliefs…

In states where recreational marijuana is legal, problematic use increased among adults and teens Science Daily 2019, November 19

After examining usage following the enactment of marijuana legalization in 2012 to 2015, the researchers found that:

  • Problematic use among adolescents aged 12 to 17 was 25 percent higher (a small increase from 2.18 to 2.72 percent) compared to states without legal recreational use. There was no change in the prevalence of past-month or frequent use among teens.
  • Among adults aged 26 or older, past-month marijuana use after legalization was 26 percent higher than in non-recreational states. Past-month frequent use rose by 23 percent, and past-year problematic use increased by 37 percent.
  • Among young adults aged 18 to 25, there was no difference found in past-month, frequent or problematic marijuana use.

There are, indeed, important social benefits that legalizing marijuana can provide, particularly around issues of equity in criminal justice. Our findings suggest that as more states move toward legalizing marijuana for recreational use, we also need to think about investing in substance use prevention and treatment to prevent unintended harms — particularly among adolescents…

The impacts of marijuana dispensary density and neighborhood ecology on marijuana abuse and dependence
National Center for Biotechnology Information 2015 June 23  

  1. For every one marijuana dispensary per square mile added there was a 6.8% increase in the number of marijuana hospitalizations with a marijuana abuse/dependence code.  Policy makers should regulate the density of dispensaries.
  2. There was a large and steady increase in the rates of marijuana abuse/dependence hospitalizations from 2001 to 2012 in California (with medical marijuana dispensaries at this time) even after controlling for demographic and other environmental covariates…