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Study: Liberal State Young People Consume More Cannabis, Have Lower Dependency

While cannabis consumption is up across the nation and cannabis dependency is down, liberal states are showing a greater gap between the two — lower dependency despite even higher consumption.

Full story after the jump.

Researchers have found that young people in liberal states consume more cannabis but have lower rates of cannabis dependency compared to those in conservative states, according to The Verge.

The study was conducted by Columbia University’s School of Public Health and published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. Researchers did an analysis of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and cross-referenced that data with measurements of a state’s political climate such as gun policy, stance on government assistance programs, abortion, and other political leanings.

The findings were shown to be true whether or not a state had any sort of legal cannabis for people in the 18-25 age bracket. Across the nation, cannabis consumption is rising and rates of “cannabis use disorder” are decreasing; in liberal states, however, the rates of consumption are up even more and the rates of cannabis use disorder are also up more, compared to states ranked more conservative.

Researchers aren’t sure why this pattern is happening and the results are a purely statistical correlation at this time. It’s believed that the differences aren’t attributed to any one political stance or policy, but rather the entire political climate in the state, which can involve many factors.

Study author Morgan Philbin said the next goal is to isolate which policies seem to be making the most impact and creating these outcomes.

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