Medical marijuana laws impact use among sexual minorities differently than heterosexuals

Bisexual women had higher rates of past-year and daily marijuana use compared to heterosexual women, according to a study just published at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Gay/lesbian women were also more likely to report daily marijuana use and past year medical marijuana use than heterosexual women. While previous research has explored the association between state-level medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and marijuana use (MU) and MU disorder (MUD) among the general U.S. population, this is the first to explore this relationship for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals, including gender differences. The findings are online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

“Our work builds on the Institute of Medicine report highlighting the importance of conducting additional research on LGB populations across the life course,” said Morgan Philbin, PhD, assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School. “”While research has explored how LGB discrimination polices may impact substance use, less work has explored how substance use policies may impact LGB men and women differently than heterosexuals.”

The researchers analyzed data from 126,463 adults 18 and older in the 2015-2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health to study the odds of past-year marijuana use, any past-year medical marijuana use, daily/near-daily marijuana use, and marijuana use disorder. They also tested the interaction between residence in a state with medical marijuana laws and sexual identity.

Full story at Science Daily

Rates of marijuana use, heavy use, and cannabis use disorder depend on where you live

Adult marijuana use rose significantly in states that passed loosely regulated medical marijuana laws (MMLs) according to a new study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Medical Center. Highest increases were reported among adults ages 26 and over. Little change was found in past-month marijuana use among adolescents or young adults between the ages 18 and 25. The findings are published online in the journal Addiction.

Adults 26 years of age and older living in states with less regulated medical marijuana programs increased past-month marijuana use from 4 percent to 6.59 percent after the laws were enacted. No significant change was found in the prevalence of cannabis use disorder among adolescents or adults after states enacted medical marijuana laws, regardless whether programs were highly regulated or “loose.”

Using data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health from 2004-2013 the researchers analyzed trends over time with particular emphasis on age groups. This included obtaining prevalences of marijuana use outcomes at the state level by year and whether the enacted laws included a highly regulated (“medicalized”) or less regulated (“non-medical”) program. Participants were classified as having marijuana abuse or dependence based on DSM-IV criteria.

Full story of marijuana use rates depending on location at Science Daily