econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 05 September 2016

More Americans Are Using Cannabis - And View It As Harmless

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Ian Hamilton, University of York

There has been a significant increase in the number of Americans using cannabis, rising from 21.9m in 2002 to 31.9m in 2014. The number of regular users doubled over the same period to 8.4m. This coincides with an increasingly liberal approach to cannabis regulation in several US states. The authors of a new study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, also found that people perceived cannabis to be less harmful. This perception seems justified as problems related to cannabis use, such as dependency, remained stable during the study period.

Cannabis trends. The Lancet Psychiatry

These findings are not what you would expect when cannabis use becomes more popular and is thought to be increasingly potent. This study also contradicts another study, using data over the same period, which found that disorders associated with cannabis use have doubled. So which one should we believe?

The study in The Lancet Psychiatry is problematic as it doesn't include some of the most marginalised groups, such as the homeless or those in prison. These groups are more likely to use cannabis and develop problems, such as dependency. The absence of these people from the survey might account for the stable numbers of people with a cannabis dependency over the study period. Also, it excludes young people (people under the age of 18) who are more prone to developing cannabis problems than older people.

The Lancet study excluded marginalised groups, such as prisoners. maxriesgo/Shutterstock

Not as harmless as suggested

It can be an inconvenient fact for those lobbying for a more liberal policy approach to cannabis that its use is risky for some. We know that a small number of people use the majority of cannabis consumed. This group is more likely to use a range of substances in addition to cannabis. They are also likely to have a range of additional social problems related to housing, education, employment and crime.

So far, the evidence suggests that those who dabble with cannabis are unlikely to suffer anything worse than feeling nauseous. Unfortunately, there is a small number of people who appear to develop more serious problems as a consequence of their cannabis use, such as mental health issues or dependency. Cannabis has also been implicated in other issues, including poorer educational achievement and doubling the risk of a car crash.

The greatest risk posed by cannabis is that it is still mixed with tobacco by many users. For young new users this can be an introduction to tobacco which leads to dependency and all the harms caused by tobacco use.

An interesting contrast is emerging between the UK and the US. The US has increasingly adopted a more liberal policy approach to cannabis, and this research suggests it has been accompanied by increasing use of the drug. Meanwhile, the UK has continued to prohibit cannabis use - with the government claiming that falling use of the drug in the population justifies their policy position. Both countries are participating in a policy experiment on their populations. Unfortunately, neither country is collecting sufficiently detailed data to be able to draw any reliable conclusions. Both still have the opportunity to rectify this.

Ian Hamilton, Lecturer in Mental Health, University of York

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
A New Era of Central Banking?
Is Free Trade Harming the Economy?
News Blog
Ranking The US's Presidents Isn't Just A Game For Americans
Canada's Best Employers 2017
What We Read Today 22 February 2017
01 February 2017 FOMC Meeting Minutes: Little Seems to Have Changed Since the Previous Meeting
An Inside Look At Doomsday Bunker Homes With A Price Tag Of 2 Million
January 2017 Headline Existing Home Sales Surprisingly Good
China Moves To Put North Korea In Its Place
Trucking Data Improves In January 2017
February 2017 Chemical Activity Barometer Has Strong Gain
Infographic Of The Day: 2017's Top New Year's Resolutions
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks And Dollar Up, Oil And Gold Steady, Nat Gas Plunges, Fed's Williams Says Low Rates Will Last, Steep UK Brexit Bill, Greek Poverty, China Stocks Look Up? And More
Climate of the Southwest
Did the Romans Create both Christianity and Islam?
Investing Blog
The Real 401k Plan Manager 20 February 2017
Investing.com Technical Summary 21 February 2017
Opinion Blog
The Blame Game
Fascism Defined And Described By Oswald Mosley
Precious Metals Blog
Deflation And Gold: A Contrarian View
Live Markets
22Feb2017 Market Close: Wall Street Passes On New Highs Except For The DOW, Interest Rate Hike May Come Sooner Rather Than Later
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government





























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2017 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved