Study Finds Significant Increase in Medical Cannabis Use in U.S.
With a majority of states now permitting medical cannabis treatment, a new study has found a sharp increase in its usage over the last decade. The study, published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that “prevalence of US residents using cannabis for medical purposes increased significantly from 1.2% in 2013-2014 to 2.5% in 2019-2020, with an [average annual percentage] of 12.9%.” The authors additionally noted that “many of socio-demographic and clinical subgroups showed similar significant increases in cannabis use for medical purposes.” “In the multivariable-adjusted model, living in a state that legalized medical cannabis remained significantly associated with medical cannabis use,” the authors of the study wrote. “The study documents a continued nationwide increase in use of cannabis for diverse medical purposes between 2013 and 2020, two decades after the first state passed legalizing legislation.” As the authors of the study noted, “Cannabis use for medical purposes is legalized across 39 states and the District of Columbia in the US.” California became the first state to legalize the treatment back in 1996, and in the nearly three decades since, medical cannabis has been embraced in dozens more, cutting across partisan lines. Last year, Mississippi became the latest to legalize medical cannabis treatment when its Republican governor, Tate Reeves, signed a measure into law. In the last decade, more than 20 states –– and the District of Columbia –– have gone a step further and legalized recreational cannabis for adults. Those shifts in policy served as the backdrop of the study published this month, with the authors saying the “objective…was to evaluate temporal trends and correlates of cannabis use for medical purposes in the US.” “Since 2013, medical cannabis use has been assessed using a dichotomous question asking whether any medical cannabis use was recommended by a doctor among…
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