Data are from a longitudinal panel of young adults in the Community Youth Development Study, a randomized trial of the Communities That Care (CTC) prevention system conducted in 24 small towns in seven states (CO, IL, KS, ME, OR, UT, WA) in the US. The panel offers a unique opportunity to examine the impact of the changing marijuana environment on the developmental course of substance use, as panel members graduated from high school in 2011, one year before the first states (CO, WA) legalized non-medical marijuana use. They turned 21 in 2014, when retail outlets opened in those states, non-medical marijuana use became legal in two additional states (OR, AK), and several other states (including IL) legalized medical marijuana. The sample is gender-balanced (52% female), with 62% identifying as White and 26% as Latino. Data are from control communities to avoid any confounding effects of the CTC intervention and were collected in 2014 or 2016 when participants were, on average, 21 (n=1796) or 23 (n=1,728) , respectively.
The first paper examines associations between marijuana policy context, marijuana-specific risk factors including perception of harm and norms about marijuana, and marijuana use. The second paper describes differences in the prevalence of concurrent and simultaneous use of marijuana and alcohol and the relation to serious health risking behaviors among young adults. The third paper demonstrates a multi-contextual approach to understanding the marijuana specific context including family, peers, community and legal status. Together, these papers will provide new evidence from a contemporary cohort of young adults on the various ways growing permissiveness toward marijuana use may pose new risks for this generation.