A Drexel University-led research project aimed at studying the health and behavioral effects of medical marijuana use for young adults living in Los Angeles has been renewed for another five years. The project offers a unique opportunity for researchers to track how the state’s changing cannabis laws are impacting public health.
California became the first state to establish a medical marijuana program in 1996. In 2013, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded the Cannabis, Health, and Young Adults (CHAYA) research project in an effort to better understand the health and social effects of the law. The longitudinal study followed 18 to 26-year-olds – 210 medical cannabis patients and 156 non-patients who used marijuana recreationally – for four years.
Through a series of interviews and surveys, the researchers assessed the study volunteers’ drug usage, health and risk behaviors. The project was the first of its kind to look at the habits