By Jessica Bestrashniy and  Ken C. WintersPsychol Addict Behav. 2015 Sep; 29(3): 639–642.

Abstract

Marijuana use and its distribution raise several complex health, social and legal issues in the United States. Marijuana is prohibited in only 23 states and pro-marijuana laws are likely to be introduced in these states in the future. Increased access to and legalization of medical marijuana may have an impact on recreational marijuana use and perception through increased availability and decreased restrictiveness around the drug. The authors undertook an analysis to characterize the policy features of medical marijuana legislation, including an emphasis on the types of medical conditions that are included in medical marijuana laws. A high degree of variability in terms of allowable medical conditions, limits on cultivation and possession, and restrictiveness of policies was discovered. Further research is needed to determine if this variability impacts recreational use in those states.

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