Colorado marijuana industry sets sales records in early '17

Editorial: Texas is not ready for medical marijuana

But the state plans to add significant new limits before patients get permission to use pot to treat PTSD.

Illicit use and use disorders increased in all 39 states studied during that time, but were 1.4 percent and 0.7 percent higher, respectively, in states with medical marijuana laws than those without.

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 NY, and colleagues say that their findings suggest that changing state marijuana laws may have serious consequences for public health.

"America's real-world experience with medical marijuana regulation. finds that cannabis can be legally produced and dispensed in a responsible manner that positively affects the lives of patients, but does not inadvertently or adversely impact overall public health or public safety", Armentano said. In 1991-1992, no Americans lived in states with medical marijuana laws, while in 2012, more than one-third lived in states with medical marijuana laws, and fewer view cannabis use as risky.

The study was published April 26 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Almost 120,000 people in 39 states were included in these surveys, according to the study.

After the November elections, eight states now offer legal adult use of marijuana.

The analysis revealed that between 1991-1992 and 2012-2013, states that had passed MMLs saw a greater increase in illicit marijuana use and marijuana use disorders than states that had not legalized medical marijuana. The average rate went from 1.35 percent in 1991-1992 to 2.30 percent in 2012-2013 in states that didn't enact medical marijuana laws, and from 1.48 percent to 3.10 percent in states that did.

In particular, the biannual poll conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed that teen marijuana use fell dramatically in Colorado after the state opened its recreational marijuana market.

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The pattern was similar for drug use disorder.

To date, 29 states in the USA and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use, and more are expected to follow.

The Colorado Department of Revenue revealed in February marijuana dispensaries throughout the state sold roughly $1.3 billion worth of medical and recreational pot past year.

Analysts at Cannabis Benchmarks said high earnings are likely driven by a number of factors, including fear over a federal crackdown in the state.

"It seems like everything we might see with medical marijuana laws would be accentuated in recreational marijuana laws", Hasin said.

For their study, Hasin and team investigated whether MMLs might be contributing to illicit use of the drug and marijuana use disorders.

He notes that the first time period in the study was 1991 when marijuana use in the United States was at an all-time low.

The increase in use disorders may be partially explained by an increase in the potency of cannabis products, said Beatriz Carlini, of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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