Heavy cannabis consumption has no negative effects on a person’s health or use of health care services, according to a study conducted by the Boston Medical Center.
The study intended to combat opposing arguments that tax revenue brought in through cannabis legalization would not be offset by increased health care costs.
Researchers studied 589 adults who screened positive for drug use during primary care visits. Data was then collected on these patients concerning their drug use, emergency room use and overall health status.
Past medical information was also obtained from patient health records.
Because marijuana users often use a second drug, like cocaine or opioids, primary author and researcher Daniel Fuster, MD said it was important to distinguish between those who used marijuana and those who used multiple illicit drugs.
Among the patients tested, 58 percent used marijuana alone.
The study found no difference in health and hospitalization between daily cannabis users and those who abstained.
“Our findings suggest that marijuana use has little measurable effect on self-reported health or healthcare utilization in adults using drugs identified in a primary care clinic,” Fuster wrote.
The study was conducted in partnership with the Boston University School of Medicine.