Study Finds That State Policies Affect Marijuana Use

Flickr / Martin Alonso / CC BY 2.0

A new study has found that more than half of Americans will change their opinion on using marijuana depending on how tight or relaxed regulations are in their state. Conducted by researchers from the Yale School of Public Health, the study was released at the American Public Health Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

According to The Denver Post, researchers surveyed 534 people in five states considering marijuana legalization in some form, including Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Researchers found that, for the most part, a person’s marijuana use is dependent on four factors: whether you could be fired for using marijuana, whether the state keeps records of marijuana sales, whether you could be arrested for public use, and the overall price for a gram of marijuana.

Out of those four factors, the price for a gram of marijuana and whether a person could be fired for marijuana use were the most influential. If a state raises the price of a gram of marijuana by $19, marijuana use decreases by 5%. If there are policies in place to prevent employees from being fired for marijuana, use goes up by 9%.

Speaking in a press release, lead researcher Mike McLaughlin said that marijuana legalization is not a simple yes or no question.

“There are a lot of details that policymakers need to work out if legalization is going to be implemented, and the public should take an active role in shaping legalization measures moving forward.”

William Sumner is a freelance writer and marijuana journalist located in Panama City, FL. Passionate about writing, William is dedicated to journalistic integrity and providing quality insight on current events. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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