With a political debate about the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use as a backdrop, the wave of legalization and liberalization initiatives continues to spread. Four states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) and the District of Columbia have passed laws that legalized cannabis for recreational use by adults, and 23 others plus the District of Columbia now regulate cannabis use for medical purposes. These policy changes could trigger a broad range of unintended consequences, with profound and lasting implications for the health and social systems in our country. Cannabis use is emerging as one among many interacting factors that can affect brain development and mental function. To inform the political discourse with scientific evidence, the literature was reviewed to identify what is known and not known about the effects of cannabis use on human behavior, including cognition, motivation, and psychosis.
Volkow ND, Swanson JM, Evins AE, DeLisi LE, Meier MH, Gonzalez R, Bloomfield MAP, Curran HV, Baler R. Effects of Cannabis Use on Human Behavior, Including Cognition, Motivation, and Psychosis: A Review. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(3):292-297. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.3278