A New UC San Francisco report says that, though marijuana increases accident and abuse, it also indicates decreased hospitalization for chronic pain. That’s only one of the health insights to emerge from the study that came out on May. 15.

“This unique transition to legalization provides an extraordinary opportunity to investigate hospitalizations among millions of individuals in the presence of enhanced access,” said Dr. Gregory Marcus, the study’s senior author

  • The study consisted of a review of 28 million medical records of patients from Colorado, New York and Oklahoma from the 2010-2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Researchers compared the health-care utilization rates and diagnoses in Colorado from two years before and two years after the legalization of weed to those of New York and Oklahoma, to differentiate. 
  • In Colorado, according to UCSF, there was a 10% increase in traffic accidents and a five percent increase in alcohol abuse and serious drug overdoses. Simultaneously, the state saw a five percent decrease in chronic pain admissions to hospitals.
  • “These data demonstrate the need to caution strongly against driving while under the influence of any mind-altering substance, such as cannabis, and may suggest that efforts to combat addiction and abuse of other recreational drugs become even more important once cannabis has been legalized,” Dr. Marcus continued.