A new study published in Psychological Medicine suggests that legalizing cannabis does not lead to an increase in substance abuse disorders or use of other illegal drugs and is therefore not considered a gateway drug.
In fact, cannabis may actually reduce alcohol-related problems, say researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. Reported A news local outlet.
the study found There is no link between cannabis legalization and an increase in cognitive, psychological, social, relationship or financial problems.
“We really didn’t find any support for a lot of the harms that people worry about,” said lead author Stephanie Zellers, who began the research as a graduate student at the CU Boulders Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG). “From a public health perspective, these results are reassuring.”
The researchers took data from the Institute for Behavioral Genetics and the Minnesota Center for Twin Family Research to study 4,000 twins (40% in states with legal recreational weed, Colorado, and 60% in states without legal cannabis, such as Minnesota). To Fox 31 News Outlet.
Regarding study methods, the researchers “used a longitudinal, co-twin control design in 4043 twins, first assessed in adolescence and now ages 24-49, currently living in states with different cannabis policies ( 40% live in recreational legal status).”
Legalization of recreational cannabis reduces alcohol use disorder
The researchers found that twins in the recreational phase used cannabis more frequently on average and had fewer alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms than their co-twins in the non-recreational phase.
“This co-twin design automatically controls for a wide range of variables including age, social background, early home life and even genetic inheritance” that can influence health outcomes, Told John Hewitt Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU Boulder. “If the association persists, it provides strong evidence that the environment, in this case, is having an effect on legalization.”
The researchers concluded that the association between adult use legalization with increased cannabis use and decreased AUD symptoms was not associated with other malformations. However, “future research may examine the causal link between cannabis consumption and outcomes,” they concluded.
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