Behavior Changes in Young Adults and Correlation with Medical Marijuana Legalization

Behavior Changes in Young Adults and Correlation with Medical Marijuana Legalization


Legalization of the use of medical marijuana is more than half in the United States. Legalizing it was mainly due to medical purposes like the treatment of seizures, stress disorders, and many others.

However, since the passing of the MM laws, there has been a severe increase in marijuana use, especially among young adults. There is an increase in Cannabis use disorder among the youths where one out of five diagnosed. Also, more than 54% of young adults started marijuana use by the age of 21. Marijuana is now trailing alcohol use as an abused drug by those in treatment and could challenge the leader with time. CDU is now three times common than alcohol use disorder. According to the National Epidemiological Survey, Cannabis use disorder is rising day by day among 18-29 –years- old. There is an increase in behavior changes of young adults who are using marijuana especially those with medical marijuana cards. The insight of marijuana harm has declined rapidly.

Keywords: legalization, medical marijuana, Cannabis use disorder, young adults, medical marijuana cards

Behavior Changes in Young Adults and Correlation with Medical Marijuana Legalization

Young adults embraced the legalization of medical marijuana wholeheartedly. Since the passing of the MM law’s many youths acquired the MM cards that allow them to access medical marijuana legally from MM dispensaries. However, it is hard to tell whether the young adults with MM cards are at high risk of experiencing adverse behavioral changes due to marijuana use. There is an increase in marijuana users among the youths since the legalization of medical marijuana. Therefore, it is essential for the authority, guardians and the people concerned to take note of the behavior changes of the young adults using medical marijuana. This essay discusses what causes of behavior changes of young adults connected to the medical marijuana legalization.

Adverse Behavior Changes in Medical Marijuana Users

Legalization of medical marijuana has led to an increase in its usage among many youths. However, the negative side is that young adults have misused the freedom given to them by the MM laws. The easy access to marijuana provides the youth with a chance to sell it illegally to minor teenagers, and they drive under the influence of marijuana. Additionally, cannabis use disorder and cannabis addiction is the root of most negative behaviors.

Summary of Research

Marijuana use disorder

Cannabis use disorder is a diagnosis provided for problematic cannabis use. The disease is common in the United States because of the legalization of medical marijuana in most states. Current national statistics indicate that more than 54% of U.S. youth have started marijuana use by age 21 and about one in five youths meets analytic criteria for marijuana use disorder.  Marijuana use leads to damaging consequences to an individual. Similarly, the disease found among the young adults where their reduction occurs three to four years. The disorder associated with behavioral problems. A study established that CUD was three times more common than alcohol use disorder 14% and 4% respectively. National epidemiologic point outs that, CUD has grown nationally among young adults between 18 and 29years.  Therefore, when diagnosed with cannabis disorder the patient has the following symptoms: Lack of control, mental disability, withdrawal, cravings, laziness, and adverse effects on professional and personal responsibilities

Addiction to marijuana

Many young adults believe that medical marijuana is not addictive. An argument can develop because medical marijuana is used medically by doctors mostly to treat patients with frequent seizures, and stress disorders. Also, medical marijuana is a soft drug; hence it is hard to be addicted to it. Public support of medical marijuana has grown dramatically, and the youth’s perception of the harmfulness of the drug has gone down. However, many cannabis users’ behavior shows that they are addicted to medical marijuana. According to Dr. Alan Budney, a cannabis dependency expert, his research illustrated that marijuana patients regularly showed physical withdrawal syndrome the same signs as other addictive drugs like heroin and cocaine. The withdrawal began 24 hours after stopping using marijuana, peaked more after two to four days and fall after one to three weeks. Therefore, the study illustrates decisively, that marijuana is addictive.

Analysis and conclusion

Most behavioral changes in young adults occur due to the problematic use of medical marijuana. The questionable use of cannabis leads to marijuana use disorder and addiction. The two causes negative behaviors changes to the youth. The most severe difference is an effect on personal and professional lives. The young adults begin to lose control of their time, activities and duties. Therefore, they are unable to achieve, fulfill their commitments, and their lives become standstill.

Additionally, some lose control and start indulging in criminal activities or involve themselves with other drugs for satisfaction. Also, due to addiction, the person begins experiencing withdrawal symptoms. In conclusion, it is essential for people to take note of the behaviors changes of the young adults especially those with the means to access medical marijuana legally.

Effects of Legalization of Marijuana

The study contrasts young adults with and without a medical marijuana recommendation from a supplier on their developmental course of everyday marijuana use and marijuana-related problems in youth. Having a medical marijuana recommendation inform of an MM card gives the holder the right to legally cultivate marijuana and purchase it in medical marijuana dispensaries Medical marijuana laws are the cause of an increase of marijuana use among young adults. The MM law allows only the people with 18 years and above and with no health conditions and criminal background to acquire the MM card. However, for the minors, they have to the consent of their parents.

Summary of Research

Difference between MM card holders and Non-MM card holders

A present study conducted  by marijuana users, young adults, illustrated that 28% had a medical marijuana card at the age of 19 years. The young adults were able to purchase marijuana legally in MM dispensary. The numerous dormant growth models showed that the group that had the MM card had a higher usage of marijuana compared to the other minority group. The Logistic regression models that matched who compared the MM card holders and then non-card holders reported that: The cardholders had a higher chance of having adverse behavior changes like selling marijuana to the minors and people where marijuana is not legal. Also, bad behaviors like driving under the influence of marijuana which could be fatal. The 12th graders who showed that they had used marijuana in the past year were minimal. That low usage was due to the requirement of parental consent. The youth who used cannabis medically had three times the possibility of reporting using cannabis on 40 or more times in the past year. Also, it was estimated that the cardholders used marijuana four times daily for at least one month in the past year compared to the non- MM card holders.

Material and methods

The content and process used to acquire data of the influence of medical marijuana cardholders were: Participants and procedures, demographic covariates; marijuana use and MM card status, mental health, physical health, and delinquency covariates at wave nine, marijuana-related outcomes, and statistical analysis. The participation came from students from sixth grade and seventh grade chosen from 16 middle schools in three districts in South California. They went through different waves every year until they were at tide nine where they 19 years old. There was a participation of 1737 student who went through all the waves, but only 671 were in the final analytic sample. The ones where eliminated was due to lack of using medical marijuana or lacked an MM card.

The students who participated reported their sexual orientation, race, age, and gender. Also, they gave their current status either school enrollment or employed. There was a questionnaire that assessed how often the student experienced symptoms of depression, hopelessness, anxiety, nervousness — also, the physical assessment of ailments such as fatigue, headaches, low energy, and stomach pains. Additionally, the behavior assessment such as fights, crimes, and destruction of property. The evaluation had an average rating between one and three.

Analysis and conclusion

The 671 students in the past month of testing the cannabis users, 188 had an MM card. The ones that had it were considerably more probable to be male and had no chance to be enrolled in school contrast to the ones who did not have an MM card. Additionally, everyday marijuana use is drastically in young adults with an MM card in comparison with those without one. In conclusion, among the young adult cannabis users with MM card had a higher danger outline for marijuana use and related problems compared to those without an MM card.


In conclusion, the legalization of marijuana has led to an increase in behavioral changes among young adults. The problematic use of cannabis by the youth has led to addiction and cannabis use disorders. Many present studies show that holders of the medical marijuana card use it frequently than non- medical marijuana cardholders. Therefore, it is essential for people to take note of the behaviors changes of the young adults especially those with the means to access medical marijuana legally. The expanding state legalization of Medical Marijuana issue deserves further thought.