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Study: No Increase In Prevalence Of Cannabis Use Disorders

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 16, 2016

    joint_budA report published last fall claiming that an estimated three in ten consumers of cannabis suffer from a ‘use disorder’ has been dismissed in a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

    Investigators at the Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis assessed trends in marijuana use and the prevalence of marijuana use disorders during the years 2002 to 2013. Researchers determined that the self-reported use of cannabis by adults increased an estimated 19 percent, but that reports of cannabis-related problems actually declined during this same period.

    “We’re certainly seeing some increases in marijuana use,” the lead researcher of the new study said. “But our survey didn’t notice any increase in marijuana-related problems. Certainly, some people are having problems so we should remain vigilant, but the sky is not falling.”

    Separate evaluations of self-reported marijuana use by young people have determined that rates of cannabis use by high-school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago.

    Full text of the study, “Recent Trends in the Prevalence of Marijuana Use and Associated Disorders in the United States,” appears online in JAMA Psychiatry here.

    23 Responses to “Study: No Increase In Prevalence Of Cannabis Use Disorders”

    1. Dale says:

      I was always against cannabis use until I was diagnosed with MS a few years ago and after injections every other day, I’m seriously considering GOD’s creation as a viable alternative……..now I just have to wait on the dingbats that are in power…….go Bernie!!!

      • Klint says:

        So you were against other people’s freedom until you want that freedom for yourself? And you want to vote for someone who will take away more of our freedoms because you think you’ll be a beneficiary of his many fantasies?

        • Galileo Galilei says:

          Give us a better alternative than Bernie. You won’t get NORML’s vote without it.

        • Julian says:

          People are allowed to educate themselves and correct their positions, including yourself, and what ever you may define as “freedoms.”

          One example I am watching closely is the pope, who walks a thinly veiled line of injustice… And Im not just talking about the El Paso/Ciudad Juarez border he was speaking at today, in front of hundreds of female inmates. I refer to his pious example of visiting the sick and imprisoned as Jesus did, denouncing that we are trying to “imprison our way out of a drug war,” and yet he stiffles on marijuana legalization, sadly remaining out of the correct position.

          But people can be inspired and educated to change their minds. Bernie Sanders did. He looked at marijuana policy during his campaign and then introduced the first legislation to deschedule cannabis.

          Bernie even praised the pope for highlighting poverty, and the socialist Dorothy Day, before visiting a prison in Philadelphia.

          But did the pope get the connection between unjust, disproportionate incarceration, socioeconomic inequality and marijuana prohibition?

          Will you understand the difference between a Democratic socialist that Bernie represents and a Democratic Nationalist Socialist that killed many of Bernie’s relatives in Poland?

          Will the pope acknowledge that the words in Mathew 27:17 pertain today to nonviolent marijuana consumers?

          “‘Lord, when did we see you sick or in prison and feed you or bring you clothes?’ And the Lord said, ‘Even what you did for the least of these my brethren, you did it for me.'”

          Remember when speaking to your Congressman that we were all once deceived by the greedy and have to continually correct our miseducation.

          Or as Robert Nesta Marley once sang,
          “Time will Tell;
          Think you’re in heaven butcha livin in hell…
          And Im not mad at my brothers,
          But the ones who set them up…”

      • Don M says:

        I think that people who are anti-pot should never be allowed to use it medicinally. That would be justice!

        I’d celebrate if someone like Chris Christie or Nancy Grace got cancer and suddenly decided that cannabis could help, but they couldn’t get it. They don’t deserve it!

        I’m glad you have come around to the correct conclusion. It is just sad that you, like so many others, need to be hit on the head with a big hammer first.

    2. mexweed says:

      I think reported increases in appearances at drug treatment agencies by self-reporting cannabis users are driven by fears of drug testing (with all the ensuing catastrophic impact on earnings and career).

      • Fireweed says:

        the real drive behind the perceived increase in problems with cannabis is drug testing itself, as cannabis is the “tattle-tale” drug that stays in your system forever and tests positive regardless of whether one is even close to being impaired or not. drug testing has artificially driven up the incidents of “problems” with cannabis as people are coerced into seeking “treatment” at the risk of losing their job.

    3. Hempopotomus says:

      That smashing sound accompanied with this story is the destruction of yet another failed propaganda skewed piece of embarrassing filth.

      No other way to describe it when we all know that every fact-less story sadly attempting to scare people, is backfiring.

      Lies have driven DONALD TRUMP to the front of the republican party’s presidential candidacy. DONALD TRUMP FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! Let’s not continue with the same failed policies while other countries make us look sad while they progress with Cannabis.

      Thanks NORML for fighting the good fight! Keep up the great work!

    4. Mark Mitcham says:

      Marijuana “use disorder?” Hmmm…what’s that, failure to pass? Borgartitis?

      It’s nice to see, finally, the actual science overtaking the pseudo-science. Of course, many of us have suspected this was true all along: the biggest “problem” with marijuana has always been prohibition itself.

      I think it was David Lee Roth who once said: “I used to have a drug problem, but now I make enough money.”

      • Galileo Galilei says:

        “Separate evaluations of self-reported marijuana use by young people have determined that rates of cannabis use by high-school students is significantly lower today than it was 15 years ago.”

        Every so often I’m around folks in their late teens and twenties. Man! The prohibitionists have lost the war on weed. The young folks also know I’m left over from the 1960s and likely to be a weed fan if approached with caution. They think weed should be legal.

        I think I’m going to ‘turn them on’ to NORML’s website and the political action it inspires. I also plan to speak out against ‘spice’. Prohibition itself has created a version of synthetic marijuana far closer to the ‘devil weed’ of its deluded fantasies.

        The ‘War on Drugs’ may be the single, most colossal failure of government policy in my lifetime. We do not want anyone in the position of Commander in Chief who willing to delude himself and stubbornly persist in his error.

    5. Miles says:

      Of course the sky isn’t falling!

      Nevertheless, that doesn’t keep the Feds from wanting to lock up anyone who dares to use/possess something when they say you can’t. Legally, it doesn’t matter whether or not it makes any sense for the Feds to do so.

      Laws against cannabis certainly don’t make any sense for the average user that typically has no problem with it beyond the draconian laws that have been put in place by evil people.

    6. Julian says:

      I have a marijuana “use disorder”; The State of Texas wont let me grow any so I have to use other people’s weed. Anyone wanna help me legalize this state? …Maybe if I can just get my Congressman high? …

    7. Matthew says:

      Read Jon Gettman’s article in High Times (online now) – about Donald Trump. Trump’s alright; he’s got this Cannabis Activist’s vote

    8. Lynn Kempen says:

      “Cannabis Use Disorder” is a fake & fabricated “disorder,” and certainly this is true with how the term is haphazardly utilized.

    9. Julian says:

      As I get into my upper 30’s I notice that my marijuana consumption becomes less treatment for temper and recreation (always good for pain from physical work) but now more treatment for real disorders that I didn’t even know I was mitigating with the use of cannabis.
      Calming my first migraine after painting with a failed mask and a paint sprayer with weed was a medicine I had already been hearing worked, so it was relieving to keep a vaporizer full, but not that surprising.
      But I don’t always paint. Most of my career I was wearing toolbags framing houses. Over the course of the last year I had been feeling a numbness or burning in my left thigh. I don’t wear tool bags much anymore, but Im standing alot and the damage to the nerve was done. I just looked it up and its called meralgia paresthetica;
      http://www.m.webmd.com/diabetes/meralgia-paresthetica

      So took a quick puff of some good Maui Wowy I had left over and just like the migraine, the pain lessened, remained perceptible yet manageable so I can not only finish the day’s work, but focus on the source of the increased irritation, which, now that Im stoned and not running around like a wounded buffalo, I can see clearly that these army pants my wife’s cousin gave me that tie together around my waist are constricting the nerve that’s bothering me.
      The real “disorder” is when we prohibit our ability to see the disorder. I wish we could all get high with Congress and let them see through their own disorder.

    10. Joel: the other Joel says:

      If there was such a thing as “Cannabis Use Disorder”, it could be as rare as “Masturbate Use Disorder”. Maybe prohibitionist need to go back to the old anti-masturbation movement and make commercials from your tax dollars and start a crusade on that.

      • bobwv says:

        Don’t give them any ideas. That’s the last thing we have a grip on.

        • mexweed says:

          “Masturbation” is a good example of sneakothing prohibitionist wordcoinage, where they’re trying to hide many scary little English words in a big supposedly scientific latin term, in this case “mad” “mess” “nasty” “disturb” “stupid” “beat” “hate”, recognizably all words you hear groanups say when they’re fixing to PUNISH you for something they suspect you did that God told them to prohibit.

          Now check out this prime example aimed at us: PARAPHERNALIA “paranoia” “infernal” “alien”! (Applied to vaporizers, flexdrawtube utensils etc.) Scare kids against using anything but EASIER-TO-HIDE $iggerette papers, keep them fixated on the objects and rituals of $igarette $moking, one deay they’ll settle for a drag on the Real Thing… Zap! hooked for life! $4000/year for a pack-a-day habit.

          Yeah, the word “Marijuana”, besides the fact that some insulting foreigner can’t even pronounce Americana right, did you notice “piranha” (homicidal gangster fish), “nirvana” (stereotypical stoner bliss)?

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