Lessons learned in several states eight years after states legalized marijuana

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Curr Opin Psychol. 2020 Jul 23;38:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.07.018. Online ahead of print.


There are over 20 000 peer-reviewed research articles linking marijuana use to severe mental health outcomes, ranging from depression to psychosis, and inhibited cognitive development, as well as consequences for physical health, and even negative outcomes for neonates exposed in utero. The connections between marijuana use and consequences to mental and physical health, and brain development, among other risks are often lost in conversations on legalization. Marijuana-legal states have higher rates of marijuana-related driving fatalities, greater emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and exposures, expansive criminal markets, as well as exacerbated racial disparities in industry participation and criminal justice enforcement. We compiled eight years’ worth of publicly available state-level data, reports, investigatory findings, peer-reviewed studies, and government health surveys to assemble this ‘lessons learned’ report to bring these harms to light.

PMID:32769051 | DOI:10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.07.018