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    Little is known about young adult medical marijuana patients (MMP) and their marijuana using patterns and practices, which includes frequency of use, sourcing of marijuana products, forms/modes of administration, and patterns of illicit/prescription drug misuse, compared to non-patient marijuana users (NPU). Young adults (N=366) aged 18-26 years old were sampled in Los Angeles in 2014-15 and segmented into NPU (n=156), marijuana users who never had a medical marijuana (MM) recommendation, and MMP (n=210), marijuana users with a current, verified MM recommendation. Differences regarding self-reported marijuana and other drug use during the past 90days are expressed as unadjusted risk ratios or differences in means. MMP reported significantly greater mean days of use (76.4 vs. 59.2, p<0.001) and mean dollars spent on marijuana products (564.5 vs. 266.9, p<0.001) than NPU. Approximately one-quarter (22.6%) of both MMP and NPU report selling marijuana obtained from a dispensary to someone else in the past 90days. MMP were more likely to report vaporization modalities for concentrates (URR=1.5, 95% C.I.=1.2, 2.0) and for marijuana (URR=1.5, 95% C.I.=1.1, 2.1) than NPU. Though not significant, trends toward lower misuse of prescription drugs in the past 90days were observed among MMP compared to NPU. MMP reported greater access to marijuana via dispensaries, more frequent and intensive use of marijuana, and greater use of non-combustible forms of marijuana compared to NPU. MMP reported less recent misuse of prescription drugs compared to NPU. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

    Citation

    Stephen E Lankenau, Ekaterina V Fedorova, Megan Reed, Sheree M Schrager, Ellen Iverson, Carolyn F Wong. Marijuana practices and patterns of use among young adult medical marijuana patients and non-patient marijuana users. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2017 Jan 01;170:181-188

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    PMID: 27987475

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