People Living In States With Legal Marijuana Have Lower Rates Of Alcohol Use Disorder, Federally Funded Twin Study Finds

People Living In States With Legal Marijuana Have Lower Rates Of Alcohol Use Disorder, Federally Funded Twin Study Finds
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People who live in states where recreational marijuana is legal experience lower rates of alcohol use disorder (AUD) compared to those who live in states where cannabis remains illegal, according to a new federally funded study. Researchers observed 240 pairs of twins in cases where one twin lived in a state that legalized marijuana and the other did not. They found that while overall alcohol consumption did not significantly differ, those living in states where cannabis had been legalized were “less likely to risk harm while under the influence of alcohol” than their twin residing in a state where marijuana remained prohibited. “Recreational legalization was associated with increased cannabis use and decreased AUD symptoms but was not associated with other maladaptations,” the researchers from the University of Colorado and University of Minnesota wrote. “We established evidence that suggests cannabis legalization causes a 0.11 standard deviation increase in cannabis frequency, whereas AUD symptoms decreased by 0.11 standard deviations driven by reductions in use of alcohol when physically hazardous.” The peer-reviewed study published last week in the journal Psychological Medicine cautioned, however, that this data is “difficult to interpret and merits additional investigation in future work.” The authors attempted to quantify the impact of recreational cannabis on substance use, day-to-day functioning and whether vulnerable people are more susceptible to potential negative effects than others. The results suggested legalization was not associated with an increase in cannabis use disorder but could be linked to greater cannabis use, tobacco use and financial distress. “We assessed a broad range of outcomes, including other substance use, substance dependence, disordered personality, externalizing and legal issues, relationship agreement, workplace behavior, civic engagement, and cognition,” they wrote. But they found “no detrimental nor protective effects for the majority of these domains, nor did we identify any increased vulnerability conferred…

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Source : People Living In States With Legal Marijuana Have Lower Rates Of Alcohol Use Disorder, Federally Funded Twin Study Finds

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