The heavy change in laws and attitudes around the medical and recreational marijuana market has led to marijuana becoming more available. At the moment, 23 states in the United States allow marijuana for medicinal purposes while four of those states allow it for recreational purposes. This means that there are more and more people using marijuana, and as a result, according to a new study, marijuana-linked disorders are becoming a bigger problem.

In a study published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, analysts looked over data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions for 2001 to 2002 and 2012 to 2013. The data showed that 30% of Americans who used cannabis is the last year have been diagnosed with disorders related to marijuana; this means that those users have been using marijuana excessively and even become dependent upon it at the expense of other activities.

This would mean that there are 6.8 million people in the country suffering from a marijuana-related disorder. Between 2001 and 2013 a number of marijuana users rose from 4.1% to 9.5%. Even though the overall addiction and dependence rate has gone down from 35.6 percent in 2001–2002 to 30.6 percent in 2013, there is a larger population of users now who are becoming addicted to the drug become of how many more people have more access to it. There has also been a larger number in the amount of people who are living in the south, black, Hispanic, middle-aged, and women using the drug.

“Clearly not everyone is at risk for those problems but this risk is there,” said professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Deborah Hasin. “Research that could help us to identify what causes people to be vulnerable would be useful.”


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