Written by Honor Whiteman
Increased legalization of marijuana for medical purposes may be fueling illicit use of the drug, as well as increasing the number marijuana use disorders, according to the results of a new study.
Researchers have identified a greater increase in illicit marijuana use and disorders in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
An analysis of data from three national surveys in the United States revealed a higher increase in illicit marijuana use and marijuana use disorders in states that had passed medical marijuana laws (MMLs), compared with states that have not legalized medical marijuana.
Study co-author Deborah Hasin, Ph.D., of the Mailman School of Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, and colleagues say that their findings suggest that changing state marijuana laws may have serious consequences for public health.