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Marijuana use did not climb following legalization in states: Study

Written by on September 27, 2021


(NEW YORK) — Recreational pot has become legal for more Americans, but despite that ease of access, marijuana use hasn’t ignited, a study released Monday found.

An article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found there was no increase in cannabis use among the general population or among previous users after their states legalized marijuana.

Researchers surveyed about 830,000 Americans over age 12 on their reported cannabis use, both before and after recreational marijuana was passed in their state. The study looked at data between 2008 and 2017.

Washington state and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2021, after which marijuana use saw a slight increase among Hispanic and white participants, researchers said.

The study also found there were no changes in cannabis use or cannabis use disorder for individuals between the ages of 12 and 20 in the states that legalized the substance.

As of Sept. 27, 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21. In this year alone, four states, New York, New Mexico, Virginia and Connecticut, legalized the substance.

ABC News’ Dr. Ronnye Rutledge contributed to this report.

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