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Statement on Possible Changes to Ohio’s Marijuana Laws

31 Mar 2016 7:54 AM | Molly (Mary) Kometiani (Administrator)

The Coalition for Healthy Communities urges members of the Ohio General Assembly and the voting public to ensure that any action they take reflects the harm resulting from the use of marijuana on individuals and society in general during the ongoing debate to change Ohio’s marijuana laws.  

 Scientific evidence tells us that marijuana use results in cognitive impairment[i]  [ii] and changes in brain structure and function [iii] [iv]; increased risk of psychosis[v] ; acceleration of the development of schizophrenic symptoms[vi]; exacerbation of anxiety and depression[vii] ; greater numbers of traffic accidents resulting from drugged driving[viii] [ix], and an increased likelihood of using other illicit substances -- the so-called “gateway phenomenon” [x] [xi] [xii].   

 The Coalition for Healthy Communities is a statewide collaboration of  organizations advocating for improved access to quality mental health and substance use treatment and support services.  For additional information regarding the Coalition and to view individual organization’s statements related to possible changes to Ohio’s marijuana laws, please visit


Buckeye Art Therapy Association, Inc.

Drug Free Action Alliance


Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition

National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio

Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health   


Ohio Council of Behavioral Health & Family

    Services Providers

Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association




[i] Pope HG Jr, Gruber AJ, Hudson JI, Cohane G, Huestis MA, Yurgelun-Todd D. Early-onset cannabis use and cognitive

deficits: what is the nature of the association? Drug Alcohol Depend. 2003 Apr 1;69(3):303-10. PubMed PMID:


[ii] Gruber SA, Sagar KA, Dahlgren MK, Racine M, Lukas SE. Age of onset of marijuana use and executive function.

Psychol Addict Behav. 2012 Sep;26(3):496-506. doi: 10.1037/a0026269. Epub 2011 Nov 21. Erratum in: Psychol

Addict Behav. 2012 Sep;26(3):506. PubMed PMID: 22103843; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3345171
[iii]Gilman JM, Kuster JK, Lee S, Lee MJ, Kim BW, Makris N, van der Kouwe A, Blood AJ, Breiter HC. Cannabis use is

quantitatively associated with nucleus accumbens and amygdala abnormalities in young adult recreational users. J

Neurosci. 2014 Apr 16;34(16):5529-38. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4745-13.2014. PubMed PMID: 24741043; PubMed

Central PMCID: PMC3988409

[iv]Batalla A, Bhattacharyya S, Yücel M, Fusar-Poli P, Crippa JA, Nogué S, Torrens M, Pujol J, Farré M, Martin-Santos R.

Structural and functional imaging studies in chronic cannabis users: a systematic review of adolescent and adult

findings. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55821. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055821. Epub 2013 Feb 4. Review. PubMed

PMID: 23390554; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3563634.

[v] Large M, Sharma S, Compton MT, Slade T, Nielssen O. Cannabis use and earlier onset of psychosis: a systematic

meta-analysis. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Jun;68(6):555-61. doi: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.5. Epub 2011 Feb

7. Review. PubMed PMID: 21300939.

[vi] Kuepper R, van Os J, Lieb R, Wittchen HU, Höfler M, Henquet C. Continued cannabis use and risk of incidence and

persistence of psychotic symptoms: 10 year follow-up cohort study. BMJ. 2011 Mar 1;342:d738. doi:

10.1136/bmj.d738. PubMed PMID: 21363868; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3047001.

[vii] Degenhardt L, Hall W, Lynskey M. Exploring the association between cannabis use and depression. Addiction. 2003

Nov;98(11):1493-504. Review. PubMed PMID: 14616175.

[viii] Brady JE, Li G. Trends in alcohol and other drugs detected in fatally injured drivers in the United States, 1999-2010. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Mar 15;179(6):692-9. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwt327. Epub 2014 Jan 29. PubMed PMID: 24477748; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3939850

[ix] Lenné MG, Dietze PM, Triggs TJ, Walmsley S, Murphy B, Redman JR. The effects of cannabis and alcohol on

simulated arterial driving: Influences of driving experience and task demand. Accid Ana Prev. 2010 May;42(3):859-

66. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2009.04.021. PubMed PMID: 20380913.

[x] Agrawal A, Neale MC, Prescott CA, Kendler KS. A twin study of early cannabis use and subsequent use and

abuse/dependence of other illicit drugs. Psychol Med. 2004 Oct;34(7):1227-37. PubMed PMID: 15697049.

[xi] Hall W, Degenhardt L. Prevalence and correlates of cannabis use in developed and developing countries. Curr Opin

Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;20(4):393-7. Review. PubMed PMID: 17551355.

[xii] Panlilio LV, Zanettini C, Barnes C, Solinas M, Goldberg SR. Prior exposure to THC increases the addictive effects of

nicotine in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2013 Jun;38(7):1198-208. doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.16. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

PubMed PMID: 23314220; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3656362.



Contact:  Marcie Seidel, Co-chair,  Coalition for Healthy Communities

                                     Executive Director, Drug Free action Alliance



Buckeye Art Therapy Association

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