A recent study published by the American Medical Association has revealed that there has been no notable increase in the number of diagnoses for psychosis in states where cannabis is legal compared to those where it is not. To investigate the possibility that cannabis legalization could be associated with higher rates of psychosis, which some prohibitionists have used as evidence against legalization, researchers at Pennsylvania University, Stanford University and the Department of Veterans Affairs examined data on more than 63 million beneficiaries of health insurance from 2003 to 2017.
The authors examined Medicare Advantage and commercial claims data in particular to evaluate the possible effects of cannabis legalization, which has been shown in some studies to increase adult usage rates. The researchers claim that the study was the largest and first to measure the relationship between the prevalence of health care related to psychosis claims throughout U.S. states and medical and recreational marijuana policies.
The findings, according to Deputy Director of NORML Paul Armentano, are “reassuring,” but he warned that it’s crucial to understand that some populations who are inclined to psychosis will likely be more susceptible than others to suffering negative effects from marijuana use. The study notes that it may be instructive to keep an eye on psychosis as a possible side effect of state-level marijuana legalization as more states introduce new policies.
While the notion of a connection between cannabis and psychosis is frequently raised in arguments made by proponents of prohibition against reform initiatives, writer Alex Berenson has established himself as one of the leading activists for the idea. His other assertions that cannabis use is linked to violent behavior were referenced in a 2019 study that was funded by the federal government, which found that legalization had a very minor effect on property crime violence.
Another recent government-funded study found that residents of states with legalized recreational marijuana have lower rates of alcohol use disorder than residents of states where marijuana is still illegal. In addition, another AMA study found that two in six people with chronic pain use cannabis as a pain relief option, with the majority of those people substituting cannabis for other painkillers such as opioids.
At the same time, another study published by the association concluded that legalizing medical cannabis at the state level is linked to a marked decline in prescription and opioid use among specific cancer patients.
With such results pointing to some of the implied benefits of legalizing cannabis, many more firms are likely to join the space and leverage the funding accessible through companies such as REZYFi Inc. in order to scale their operations and develop innovative offerings for customers.
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