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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Jan 1;194:178-183. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.09.028. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

Greater risk for frequent marijuana use and problems among young adult marijuana users with a medical marijuana card.

Author information

1
RAND Corporation, 1776 Main Street, PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA, USA. Electronic address: jtucker@rand.org.
2
RAND Corporation, 20 Park Plaza, Suite 920, Boston, MA 02116, USA.
3
RAND Corporation, 1776 Main Street, PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study compared young adults with and without a medical marijuana (MM) recommendation from a provider ("MM card") on their developmental trajectories of frequent marijuana use and marijuana-related problems in young adulthood.

METHODS:

The analytic sample consists of young adult past month marijuana users (N = 671) who were part of a larger, diverse, and predominantly California cohort. Analyses are based on data from seven surveys completed from ages 13-19.

RESULTS:

At age 19, 28% of participants reported having an MM card to legally purchase marijuana from an MM dispensary. A multiple group latent growth model indicated that young adults who had an MM card showed steeper increases in frequent marijuana use (i.e., 20-30 days of use in the past month) from ages 13-19 compared to young adults who did not have an MM card. Logistic regression models that matched MM cardholders and non-MM cardholders on individual sociodemographic characteristics found that MM cardholders were more likely to report marijuana negative consequences, selling marijuana/hashish, and driving under the influence of marijuana in the past year. In addition, MM cardholders were more likely to have tried cutting down or quitting in the past 3-months.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among young adult marijuana users, those with an MM card had a higher risk profile for marijuana use and related problems compared to those without an MM card. Given expanding state legalization of MM, this issue warrants further attention.

KEYWORDS:

Medical marijuana; Negative consequences; Problem behaviors; Trajectories; Young adults

PMID:
30447509
PMCID:
PMC6312480
[Available on 2020-01-01]
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.09.028

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