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Study: Cannabis Consumption Has No Negative Effect On Health

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By Emily Smith, Thu, September 26, 2013

Heavy cannabis consumption has no negative effects on a person’s health or use of health care services, according to a study conducted by the Boston Medical Center.

The study intended to combat opposing arguments that tax revenue brought in through cannabis legalization would not be offset by increased health care costs.

Researchers studied 589 adults who screened positive for drug use during primary care visits. Data was then collected on these patients concerning their drug use, emergency room use and overall health status.

Past medical information was also obtained from patient health records.

Because marijuana users often use a second drug, like cocaine or opioids, primary author and researcher Daniel Fuster, MD said it was important to distinguish between those who used marijuana and those who used multiple illicit drugs.

Among the patients tested, 58 percent used marijuana alone.

The study found no difference in health and hospitalization between daily cannabis users and those who abstained.

“Our findings suggest that marijuana use has little measurable effect on self-reported health or healthcare utilization in adults using drugs identified in a primary care clinic,” Fuster wrote.

The study was conducted in partnership with the Boston University School of Medicine.

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No Association Between Frequency of Marijuana Use and Health or Healthcare Utilization

Sep. 23, 2013 — Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found frequency of marijuana use was not significantly associated with health services utilization or health status. These findings currently appear online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.



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Does anyone have full access?


Some issues that I have with this study include that it: initiates the study with bias intent, selectively chooses participants (which can effect outcome), relies on participant honesty (are patients that tinkle dirty 100% honest? what happens with their script?), potentially tells participants the purpose of the study (which would effect outcome), and is based on a three month period (previous use?).


Without reading it in full it's impossible to understand their method, which would give credit to, or eliminate, some of the concerns I have listed. The fact that it's peer reviewed gives me more hope that they took some of these variables into account. 

Edited by in vivo
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