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New study points to health issue in states with legal recreational marijuana

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s recreational marijuanamarket is set to open next year.

But a new study finds states with legal marijuana markets are also seeing an increase in a marijuana related health problems.

People with Cannabis Use Disorder have increased tolerance to marijuana, increased use of marijuana, and problems with relationships. Untreated, Cannabis Use Disorder can lead to substance abuse and disability.

Dr. Magdalena Cerdá is the Director of the Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy at New York University. She studied recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon, four states with retail recreational marijuana markets. She found small, but statistically significant increases, in Cannabis Use Disorder since those states legalized marijuana.

“This study in no way suggests that legalization shouldn’t happen,” insists Cerdá. “It’s just that as states legalize recreational marijuana use, we also need to track the potential public health consequences.”

Cerdá says Michigan and other states can learn from what happened to the alcohol and tobacco industries to do better with the marijuana industry.

The study appears in the Journal of the America Medical Association Psychiatry.

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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