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The twins study bankrupts the cannabis gateway theory

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Legal access to recreational cannabis does not increase the likelihood of alcohol or illicit drug use disorders, according to a recent study of twins.

in The last report has been published from the magazine PsychiatryThe researchers observed data collected from monitoring twins living in Colorado and Minnesota. They found no connection between legal access to marijuana and the potential for developing drug use problems.

The researchers found that “cannabis legalization was not associated with any other adverse outcomes in the co-twin design, including cannabis use disorder.” “There is no risk factor that interacts significantly with the status of rationing to predict any outcome.”

“We mostly found a lot of nothing, which I think is very interesting personally,” added lead researcher Stephanie Zellers. “I think this is a case where we don’t find a lot that is actually perhaps more interesting than finding a set of results.”

The study also indicated that residents living in legal cannabis states do not appear to show an increase in problems related to mental health, relationships, work, and finances.

“Recreational legalization was associated with increased cannabis use and decreased symptoms of alcohol use disorder, but was not associated with maladjustment,” the researchers wrote. These effects were maintained within discordant pairs of residence. “Moreover, vulnerabilities to cannabis use were not exacerbated by the cannabis legal environment.”

Access to the legal market

Zellers and her research team observed 240 pairs of twins, one living in the legal state of Colorado and the other in the legal state of Colorado. Minnesota, where cannabis remains prohibited. Now, ranging in age from 24 to 49, the participants provided data on their personal use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and various illegal drugs, as well as measures of “psychosocial health” since adolescence.

said co-investigator John Hewitt, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the CU Boulder. “If the association holds up, it provides strong evidence that the environment, in this case rationing, has an effect.”

“There are a lot of things that can explain why someone behaves a way or why people in one country behave in a way compared to another,” Zellers said. “But with twins, we’ve been able to rule out a lot of these surrogates — not all, but a lot of them.”

The latest study serves as a follow-up to Advance search that found an increase in adult use of cannabis as states allowed recreational use. Despite the increase in cannabis use, the team found no correlation with the rise in cannabis use or addiction.

“Obviously, cannabis use is increasing, but we haven’t seen an increase in cannabis use disorder, which is a bit surprising,” Zellers said. “We haven’t really seen changes in the amount of people who drink or use tobacco. There is no significant personality or workplace or IQ differences or anything like that.”

But while cannabis use increased in legal situations, twins living in these areas were less likely to drive drunk or develop alcohol use disorders.

“You’re combining drinking with something that might be physically unsafe,” Zellers said. “Residents of legal states do it less, which is interesting and perhaps a bit unexpected.”

Refuting the cannabis gate theory

The findings also reject the drug gateway theory that using marijuana only leads to use of stronger substances.

“We asked in the past 12 months have you tried or used heroin, prescription opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines, hallucinogens — sort of the whole 11 or 12 categories of illegal drugs,” Zellers said. “And there is no difference there. People who live in a country that has legal cannabis, they don’t necessarily move on to more illegal drugs.”

The results are very promising but far from an absolute conclusion. The study has many limitations, as it focuses on adults, few of whom consider themselves heavy users.

“Our sample is an adult population broadly characterized by low levels of drug use and psychosocial dysfunction,” the researchers wrote. “This limits our ability to generalize the relationships between legalization, outcomes and risk factors to higher-risk individuals.”

Grow guide for marijuana beginners.
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