Effect of CA Marijuana Laws on Smoking, Marijuana, Alcohol, and Opioid

Research Fields: 

A better understanding of the downstream effects of California’s (CA) rapidly changing tobacco and marijuana policies is critical for public health. The liberalization of CA marijuana laws has the potential to contribute to the renormalization of smoking and expose both users and non-users of marijuana to second hand smoke. Studies are needed that evaluate whether the medical marijuana law (MML) and the Recreational Marijuana Law (RML), are having a substantial influence on CA tobacco and substance control efforts at the population level. The largest increases in tobacco and marijuana co-use occurred among younger adults (26–34yo) and older adults (³ 50yo). Yet, older adults are mostly excluded from tobacco and substance use policy research.

The primary goal of this study is to inform future CA tobacco and substance control policies by measuring the long-term effect of two changes in CA law related to marijuana use, the1996 MML and the 2016 RML. We will examine the impact of both laws on risk perceptions and substance use behaviors (i.e., use and co-use of tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and opioids) among adults (³ 26yo). We will examine whether, after the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, adults in CA are less likely to perceive tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and opioid use and co-use as harmful and whether they are more likely to use and co-use across substances and tobacco products.