This chapter examines data on laws and policies about marijuana production and distribution, and their effects on a variety of public health outcomes.
This chapter pertains a book that examines the political and social entrepreneurs working toward marijuana decriminalization, their constituents’ attitude toward legalization, successful legal reforms at the state level, and consequent market dynamics in cannabis commerce. The chapter reviews laws and policies relating to marijuana production and distribution, how they have shifted, and some of the effects of this trend, including an increase in marijuana consumption and more favorable public opinion regarding its use. The authors of this chapter discuss the effects of changes to marijuana law on a variety of public health outcomes, and present research data on marijuana’s potential adverse effects such as dependency, mental health issues, accidents, and other health problems. The authors also discuss their analysis of data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among other data sources.