Exploring the association of legalisation status of cannabis with problematic cannabis use and impulsivity in the USA

Article Details

Authors
Louise Destrée BPsych (Hons), Danielle Amiet BPsych (Hons), Adrian Carter PhD, Rico Lee PhD, Valentina Lorenzetti PhD, Rebecca Segrave PhD, George Youssef PhD, Nadia Solowij PhD, Murat Yücel PhD

Article Type
Original Research

DOI
10.7573/dic.212541

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Abstract

Background: There has been an increased trend towards the legalisation of medicinal and recreational cannabis use worldwide. This has been controversial as the long-term effects of frequent cannabis use on the brain are still poorly understood.

Methods: In this study, we investigated whether the legal status of cannabis in the United States of America (USA) is associated with problematic cannabis use and impulsivity in 329 frequent cannabis users. The data were collected in 2015 and were analysed in 2017. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from Monash University in 2015.

Results: The results indicated that participants’ problematic cannabis use and impulsivity was not different whether they resided in states where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational use or prohibited.

Limitations: The present study is a cross-sectional design, making it difficult to infer causality and establish whether cannabis use is a cause, consequence, or correlate of altered impulsivity.

Conclusion: Our study supports the notion that frequent cannabis use is associated with impulsive behaviours, whilst, conversely, we did not find an association between US state legalisation and problematic cannabis use or impulsivity.

Keywords: impulsivity, legal status of cannabis in the USA, problematic cannabis use.

Citation: Destrée L, Amiet D, Carter A, Lee R, Lorenzetti V, Segrave R, Youssef G, Solowij N, Yücel M. Exploring the association of legalisation status of cannabis with problematic cannabis use and impulsivity in the USA. Drugs in Context 2018; 7: 212541. DOI: 10.7573/dic.212541

Contributions: The article was conceptualised by M Yücel, L Destrée, D Amiet, and A Carter. D Amiet collected the data presented in this article. The article was written and reviewed by L Destrée, D Amiet, A Carter, R Lee, V Lorenzetti, R Segrave, G Youssef, N Solowij, and M Yücel.

Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest: Murat Yücel received funds from David W Turner Endowment Fund and Adrian Carter received grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council during the conduct of the study. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Potential Conflicts of Interests form for the authors are available for download at https://www.drugsincontext.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/dic.212541-COI.pdf

Funding declaration: Professor Murat Yücel was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia Fellowship (#APP1117188) and the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund. There was no other funding associated with the preparation of this article.

Copyright: Copyright © 2018 Destrée L, Amiet D, Carter A, Lee R, Lorenzetti V, Segrave R, Youssef G, Solowij N, Yücel M. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0 which allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified below. No commercial use without permission.

Correct attribution: Copyright © 2018 Destrée L, Amiet D, Carter A, Lee R, Lorenzetti V, Segrave R, Youssef G, Solowij N, Yücel M. https://doi.org/10.7573/dic.212541. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0.

Article URL: https://www.drugsincontext.com/exploring-the-association-of-legalisation-status-of-cannabis-with-problematic-cannabis-use-and-impulsivity-in-the-usa

Correspondence: Murat Yücel, Monash Institute of Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience, 1st floor, Monash Biomedical Imaging, 770 Blackburn Road, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia. murat.yucel@monash.edu

Provenance: submitted; externally peer reviewed.

Submitted: 20 June 2018; Peer review comments to author: 25 July 2018; Revised manuscript received: 6 August 2018; Accepted: 7 August 2018; Publication date: 17 September 2018.

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