Study Finds Adolescent Cannabis Use Not Associated with Adverse Outcomes in Adulthood

Recreational cannabis use could be legal after the votesBy Paul Armentano, NORML

PITTSBURGH, PA — The use of marijuana by adolescents and young adults, including self-reported chronic use, is not positively associated with poorer quality of life outcomes later in life, according to an assessment of longitudinal data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Investigators from the Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Rutgers University prospectively examined whether male subjects who consumed cannabis between the ages of 15 and 26 differed in terms of socioeconomic, social, and life satisfaction outcomes by their mid-30s as compared to those who either abstained or used marijuana sparingly.

Authors reported that initially observed differences between the groups were largely eliminated once investigators controlled for co-occurring use of other substances and several pre-existing confounding factors in early adolescence.

They concluded: “After statistically accounting for confounding variables, chronic marijuana users were not at a heightened risk for maladjustment in adulthood except for lower SES (socioeconomic status) among Black men.”

A previous analysis of the data by investigators reported that the youth use of cannabis was not positively associated with a heightened risk of developing physical and mental health problems in adulthood after authors adjusted for confounding variables.

Full text of the study, “Divergent marijuana trajectories among men: Socioeconomic, relationship, and life satisfaction outcomes in the mid-30s,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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