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420 with CNW — Study Finds Opioids, Alcohol Cause Worse SecondHand Harms Compared to Marijuana Use

A recent nationwide study has revealed that secondhand harm from cannabis use is significantly less common than that from alcohol. The study, which surveyed thousands, found that respondents were almost six times more likely to report secondhand alcohol harm than cannabis harm. The perceived risks associated with opioids and other substances also outweighed those associated with marijuana.

The study analyzed responses from 7,799 participants in the 2020 United States National Alcohol Survey. It showed that more than one-third (34.2%) of respondents had experienced alcohol-related secondhand harm at some point in their lives. In contrast, only 5.5% reported experiencing secondhand harm due to marijuana.

Concerning other substances, 7.6% of respondents claimed to have suffered negative effects from the use of opioids by others, and 8.3% reported negative effects from other nonspecific drugs. In the past year, alcohol remained the leading cause of secondhand harm, with 6.2% of respondents affected. This was followed by other substances (2.2%), opioids (2%) and marijuana (1.8%).

The authors also found that different demographic groups had varying experiences with secondhand harm caused by substance use. There were noticeably more reports of secondhand harm from women, white people, those with a family history of alcoholism, and those who were divorced, separated or bereaved. Among these harms were marriage and family problems, road accidents, physical harm, vandalism and money troubles.

For marijuana, a higher likelihood of secondhand harm was reported among Black respondents. However, the authors suggest that many of these harms may be linked to punitive cannabis policies rather than the substance itself.

Interestingly, the survey found that individuals who consumed alcohol were slightly more likely to report secondhand harm. The authors suggest this may be because heavy drinkers are more often in the company of other heavy drinkers. Conversely, frequent cannabis users reported significantly lower odds of experiencing secondhand harm, which aligns with previous research.

Despite the higher reports of alcohol-related secondhand harm compared to cannabis or other substances, the authors expressed some skepticism about the reliability of the participants’ responses. For example, they speculated that marijuana users might report lower cannabis-related secondhand harm because its use often coincides with opioid and alcohol use, leading respondents to attribute harm more to opioids or alcohol than to marijuana.

The study aims to expand the understanding of substance-related harms by focusing on the impact on the family and friends of drug users, not just the users themselves.

Cannabis legalization supporters state that the findings support existing research. Commenting on the study, NORML’s deputy director Paul Armentano noted in a blog post that the public health impact of cannabis is far less severe than that of alcohol, a reality that most adults now recognize.

As more misconceptions about marijuana are dispelled by scientific studies, the industry is likely to deepen its penetration of different markets and create even more opportunities for ancillary companies such as Innovative Industrial Properties Inc. (NYSE: IIPR) that serve marijuana businesses.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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