A new study on marijuana legalization in Colorado answers the question: Has legal pot made other drug problems worse? | SummitDaily.com

A new study on marijuana legalization in Colorado answers the question: Has legal pot made other drug problems worse?

A study by researchers at the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota uses long-term data on twins to assess the impacts of cannabis legalization

John Ingold
The Colorado Sun
A walk-up marijuana sales window was installed at the Native Roots dispensary in Frisco in April 2021.
Sawyer D’Argonne/Summit Daily News archive

Last year, a study came out showing that marijuana legalization in Colorado likely increased cannabis use among adults in the state.

Because of the novel methods the researchers used to examine the question, the study was perhaps the best answer to date on one of legalization’s biggest impacts. But it also left an even bigger question unanswered: Is it bad that more adults are consuming marijuana or doing so more frequently?

Now, in a follow-up study by the same team, using the same methods, the researchers have come to an answer: It doesn’t appear to be.

“At least from the psychological point of view,” said Stephanie Zellers, one of the researchers, “we really didn’t find that the policies (on cannabis legalization) have a lot of negative influence, which I think is important.”

Zellers recently graduated with a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota, but she began her doctoral work at the University of Colorado before transferring when her thesis adviser changed jobs. She had originally been interested in neuroscience research, but the necessity of using live lab animals for the work was off-putting to her. And, in the Colorado-to-Minnesota connection, she found a trove of data that could be used in never-before-tried ways.

Read the full story on ColoradoSun.com.

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