Cannabis Use Does Not Increase Following Legalization

Nov 17, 2021 at 05:47 pm by pj


Legal Cannabis, also known as Adult Use or Recreational Cannabis, for people over 21 years old has become legal for more Americans than ever before.  However, a recent article published 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 cannabis. Link to the article below:

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Cannabis Use Following Legalization in US States With Medical Cannabis Laws | Addiction Medicine | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network

Researchers surveyed over 830,000 Americans over age 12 on their reported cannabis use, both before and after recreational cannabis 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 2012, 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 September 2021, 18 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis use for adults over 21. In this year alone, four states, New York, New Mexico, Virginia and Connecticut have made cannabis fully legal.



This study and countless others dispel the “gateway drug” theory by prohibitionists and politicians who say all children will become addicted to cannabis when legalized (and our society will crumble because everyone will be stoned). Over 90 percent of the U.S. population wants cannabis legalized in some fashion, and in this period in our history of radical differences of opinion, 90 percent of consensus on any issue is extremely profound.  The people who have fought for the status quo and are scared of change have lost.  Acceptance of cannabis and the rise in plant-based medicine are here to stay. Cannabis will help humanity evolve into a more empathetic, caring, and healing society for ourselves and each other.


Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of U.S. Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research & Development of Melbourne, is a consultant for the development of the medical marijuana industry nationwide and in Florida. He serves as a consultant to Gerson Lehrman Group, New York and helps educate GLG partners on specific investment strategies and public policy regarding Medical Marijuana in the U.S. and Internationally. He can be reached at





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