Marijuana Dispensaries in Neighborhoods Increases Drug Use
A study scheduled to publish in Drug and Alcohol Dependence next month concludes that California residents who live close to marijuana dispensaries are more likely to be hospitalized due to marijuana abuse or dependence.
The researchers analyzed data of all California hospital discharges between the years of 2001 through 2012. The discharges which involved marijuana increased dramatically from 17,469 in 2001 to 68,408 in 2012. About 85 percent of these discharges were coded as abuse.
Researchers then cross referenced these results with the patients’ zip codes to determine the amount of dispensaries within one square mile of their homes. It was found that for every dispensary within that distance of their home, it increased their risk of marijuana abuse and hospitalization by 6.8 percent. Other factors that increased their risk were lower incomes and education levels.
Although this study draws this conclusion, researchers point out that dispensaries could be targeting areas that already have a high level of drug abuse. These researchers will continue to study marijuana legalization, dispensaries and health risks.