In states with legalized cannabis, frequent cannabis use is more common in young adults who are not in college

Health News
Tags :
Health News
Share This :


cannabis
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

An Oregon State University study has found that in states where recreational cannabis has been legalized, young adults not in college more often became frequent users of the drug than their college-enrolled peers.

After state legalization, young adults not in college were also more likely to meet the criteria for cannabis use disorder, meaning they continued to use the drug despite problems it caused in their lives.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2008-2019, which surveyed college-eligible young adults ages 18-23 about their drug and alcohol use.

The data set is representative of the demographics of young adults nationally and at the state level, and the study covers a longer stretch of time post-legalization than previous research, said lead author David Kerr, a psychology professor in the OSU’s College of Liberal Arts.

“It might surprise people that research has been mixed on whether young adults’ cannabis use has increased since legalization,” Kerr said. “Our results show that prior to legalization, 23% of non-college young adults had used cannabis in the past month, compared with 28% after legalization.”

While the percentage of non-college young adults who reported past-month cannabis use increased by 5 percentage points, it only increased by 1 percentage point among college students in the same age bracket, from 20% to 21%.

Frequent cannabis use—using the drug at least 20 times in the past month—also increased more among non-college young adults, from 12% to 14%. The prevalence among college students was 7% and did not change after legalization. However, the study did not account for the fact that the potency of cannabis is higher in legal states, and has increased dramatically over time, Kerr said.

Cannabis use disorder among non-college participants also grew from 12% to 15%, while staying the same among college students, at 10%.

“Our research doesn’t address why these changes are occurring, but if you’ve been to a state that has legalized recreational cannabis use, you’ll notice the drug is widely available and prominently advertised. Americans’ beliefs about the benefits and harms of cannabis use are also changing rapidly,” Kerr said. He cited a Monitoring the Future report showing that in 2020, only 21% of young adults believed regular cannabis use puts people at risk of harm, compared with 58% of young adults 20 years ago.

Increased societal acceptance of cannabis use could affect the rate at which users experience cannabis use disorder, Kerr said, because many of the negative consequences associated with the disorder are social in nature.

“Cannabis use disorder involves the continued use of the drug, despite the inability to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home,” he said. “It’s possible that there may be fewer social consequences now that the environment is more accommodating. If so, then our findings may actually have underestimated these increases.”

The study also found that in states where legalization had occurred, recent cannabis use increased more among young adults ages 21-23 (from 21% to 26%) than among 18-20-year-olds (from 22% to 23%).

“That’s consistent with our prior work, that cannabis use increased more among the people who could legally buy it and use it,” Kerr said. “It suggests that the law provisions requiring people to be at least 21 are at least somewhat effective.”

“Researchers should continue to monitor changes in prevalence of cannabis use, frequent cannabis use and cannabis use disorder among young adults while the cannabis landscape in the U.S. continues to evolve,” Martins said. “It’s also important to better understand why increases to date were more pronounced in young adults not in college.”

Co-authors included Natalie Levy at Columbia, Harold Bae from OSU and Anne Boustead of Arizona State University.

More information:
David C.R. Kerr et al, Cannabis and Alcohol Use by U.S. Young Adults, 2008–2019: Changes in Prevalence After Recreational Cannabis Legalization, American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.06.009

Citation:
In states with legalized cannabis, frequent cannabis use is more common in young adults who are not in college (2023, August 2)
retrieved 3 August 2023
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-08-states-legalized-cannabis-frequent-common.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular News Posts

Categories

Our Exclusive Products

Our Store

Our mission is simple, offer quality products that make our customers lives better at a reasonable price, while ensuring a hassle-free shopping experience. This means that before we bring a product to market, we test it to ensure that it meets our high-level quality standards. Our customer service team understand our products and can answer most every product related question quickly and efficiently. We strive everyday to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations of quality and support! Should we ever fail to meet this expectation – contact us and we will make it right!

Our Value: We are proud of our product and accomplishments, but we typically don’t shout it from the rooftop. Instead, we prefer to let our product and customers do the talking. Our core values can be recognized in our product. The qualities we strive for include:

Pragmatism: We design simple, useful solutions for common needs
Quality: From design to final product, we strive for durable solutions that work
Originality: Creativity and innovation are what makes our product unique
Design: Our minimalist and bold design language focuses on functionality and simplicity that is timeless

0 +

Top Rated Products

0 +

Happy Customers