Those who oppose medical marijuana legalization often cite a fear that it will increase the problematic use of marijuana among those who do not need the medicine, but data published in the journal Addiction suggests this is not the case. Investigators from Columbia University assessed the cannabis use trends following the legalization of medical marijuana in different states and found “no significant change in the prevalence of past-month marijuana use among adolescents or young adults (those ages 18 to 25).” Additionally, there was no evidence to support the notion that legalization resulted in increased cannabis abuse or dependence in young people and adults. Less regulated medical marijuana programs were associated with more self-reported use by adults age 26 and older than in states with more regulations.
This information supports the findings of various studies conducted previously, and contradicts the speculation that medical marijuana laws increase the prevalence of cannabis use disorder among adults. This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.