Pubdate: Fri, 05 Feb 2016
Source: Times, The (South Africa)
Copyright: 2016 AVUSA, Inc.
Author: Katharine Child


MORE US adults are using marijuana now that some states have either 
decided to decriminalise the use of dagga or legalise the possession 
of it, a review published yesterday in the Journal of Addiction Medicine says.

And data from the US National Survey of Drug Use and Health says 
marijuana use has increased significantly among US adults in the past decade.

The trend seems to have begun before 2012, when Colorado and 
Washington became the first states to legalise marijuana.

Teen use has not increased but researchers warn "young people's 
perceptions of the risks of using marijuana have decreased, 
suggesting they might be more likely to start using marijuana in future".

More drivers in California have tested positive for marijuana use. In 
Denver, marijuana-related hospital admissions, emergency department 
visits and calls to poison control centres have all increased.

Authors of the review say this points to some harm from the increased use.

But arrests for marijuana use and possession and admissions to 
substance use disorder treatment programmes have decreased.

Jane Maxwell of The University of Texas and Bruce Mendelson of the 
Denver Office of Drug Strategy wrote the review.

"As more states enact laws allowing the medicinal use of marijuana 
and relax penalties for personal use, attention should be paid to 
experiences in other states and changes in their laws to handle problems."
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