CONTACT Medical marijuana diverted to Colorado kids

For several months, fellow researchers and I have studied diversion of medical marijuana to Colorado youth.

In this peer-reviewed paper, published last year, we explained our findings of diversion of medical marijuana to young people in substance-abuse treatment. It is common.

However, the rate of medical marijuana diversion to other samples of adolescents largely is unknown. So, we’re beginning to look at that, too. Our initial study is explained here in this research letter, published today in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

We found that diversion of medical marijuana is common even in a sample of adolescents who are not necessarily at high risk for marijuana use and diversion. We found that knowing someone with a medical marijuana registration is also associated with more favorable marijuana-related attitudes and more frequent marijuana use.

My profound thanks to this letter’s co-authors: Margaret Tomcho, M.D., of Denver Health and Hospital Authority; Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel, Ph.D., and Taylor Profita, B.S., University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

About Chris Thurstone

Dr. Christian Thurstone is one of about three dozen physicians in the United States who are board certified in general, child and adolescent and addictions psychiatry. He is medical director of one of Colorado’s largest youth substance-treatment programs and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD), where he conducts research on youth substance use and addiction and serves as director of medical training for the university’s addiction psychiatry fellowship program.

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