The National Institute of Health has awarded a $3.3 million grant towards five year study assessing medical marijuana’s impact on drug usage and the health of young adults.
The grant, presented to the Philadelphia based Drexell University this month, will be used to recruit 380 medical marijuana patients as well as non-medical users within the city of Los Angeles for a study. Participants, set to range between 18 to 26 years old, will be interviewed and surveyed by early 2014 and will participate in annual follow up interviews over a three year period.
“The young adults we recruit into this study represent an important group,” study leader Dr. Stephen Lankenau said in a release. “This population will have many years of their lives ahead to experience the consequences, whether positive or negative, of policies that allow for medical marijuana use.”
A core focus of the “Medical Marijuana, Emerging Adults & Community: Connecting Health and Policy Study” will assess the significance of medical marijuana dispensaries upon health.
“Dispensaries are a relatively new and unusual institution, and they haven’t been studied much,” Lankenau said in the release. “One study hypothesis is that dispensaries, which often provide social support in addition to medical marijuana, may provide the basis for better physical and psychological outcomes for medical marijuana users, compared to non-medical users who purchase the drug on the black market.”