Left Menu
Development News Edition

New study highlights dangers of marijuana amid rising debate on medicinal benefits

Devdiscourse News Desk | Washington DC | Updated: 16-05-2019 14:46 IST | Created: 16-05-2019 14:32 IST
New study highlights dangers of marijuana amid rising debate on medicinal benefits
The findings, published in the Journal of BMJ, demonstrate several potentially harmful effects that are relevant for physicians and policymakers, as well as for individuals considering cannabis use. Image Credit: ANI

The legalisation of recreational marijuana is associated with an increase in its abuse, but does not significantly change health care use overall, a recent study suggests. In a review of more than 28 million hospital records from the two years before and after cannabis was legalised in Colorado, UC San Francisco (UCSF) researchers found that Colorado hospital admissions for cannabis abuse increased after legalisation in comparison to other states.

However, taking the totality of all hospital admissions and time spent in hospitals into account, there was not an appreciable increase after recreational cannabis was legalised. The study also found fewer diagnoses of chronic pain after legalisation, consistent with a 2017 National Academy of Sciences report that concluded substantial evidence exists that cannabis can reduce chronic pain.

"We need to think carefully about the potential health effects of substantially enhancing the accessibility of cannabis, as has been done now in the majority of states," said senior author Gregory Marcus, associate chief of cardiology for research in the UCSF Division of Cardiology. According to Marcus, the findings, published in the Journal of BMJ, demonstrate several potentially harmful effects that are relevant for physicians and policymakers, as well as for individuals considering cannabis use.

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 117 million Americans, or 44.2 per cent of all Americans, have used cannabis in their lifetime, and more than 22 million Americans report having used it within the past 30 days. While its use is a federal crime as a controlled substance, 28 states and the District of Columbia now allow it for treating medical conditions. Nine of those states have legalised it for recreational use.

To understand the potential shifts in health care use resulting from widespread policy changes, Marcus and his colleagues reviewed the records of more than 28 million individuals in Colorado, New York and Oklahoma from the 2010-2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, which included 16 million hospitalisations. They compared the rates of health care utilisation and diagnoses in Colorado two years before and two years after recreational marijuana was legalised in December 2012 to New York, as a geographically distant and urban state, and to Oklahoma, as a geographically close and mainly rural state.

The researchers found that after legalisation, Colorado experienced a 10 per cent increase in motor vehicle accidents, as well as a 5 per cent increase in alcohol abuse and overdoses that resulted in injury or death. At the same time, the state saw a 5 per cent decrease in hospital admissions for chronic pain, Marcus said. According to the team of researchers, the study findings can prove to be beneficial in guiding future decisions regarding cannabis policy.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Kings announcer Napear suspended over remarks

Sacramento Kings play-by-play announcer Grant Napear was suspended from his sports-radio talk show after making remarks on social media over the weekend in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement. Napear was not on the air Monday for The ...

Venezuela's Maduro says he will visit Iran soon, sign agreements

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday said he would visit Iran shortly to sign cooperation agreements in energy and other sectors, after Iran sent five fuel tankers to the gasoline-starved South American country.I am obliged to go t...

UN appeals for restraint, ‘social cohesion’ as protests across the US continue

Responding to on-going protests that have spawned violence on all sides across dozens of US cities, the UN Spokesperson on Monday reiterated the Secretary-Generals appeal for grievances to be heard in peaceful ways, met with restraint by po...

Trump, Illinois governor spar during call over get-tough talk

A conversation during which President Donald Trump urged U.S. state governors to crack down on nationwide protests became testy on Monday when Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker accused Trump of making the situation worse. Trump, who last week...

Give Feedback