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Vermonters are healthy

% of adults using marijuana who use 10 or more days per month


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Story Behind the Curve

Updated: Jan 2020

The epidemiological literature in the past 20 years shows that cannabis use increases the risk of accidents and can produce dependence.  There are also consistent associations between regular cannabis use and poor psychosocial outcomes and mental health in adulthood, impaired respiratory function, cardiovascular disease, and residual cognitive impairment. 

In Vermont, the use of marijuana on one or two days and three to nine days have both decreased since 2011, suggesting a general shift towards regular marijuana use instead of more casual use.  Marijuana use has been legalized in Vermont, effective 7/1/18, which is likely to decrease perception of risk and increase use and frequency of use.  


Colleges, Physicians, Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions, Families.

What Works

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for marijuana users; continued legal sanctions on possession and use of marijuana.

Why Is This Important?

Vermont adults who recently used marijuana are generally more likely to have poor health, compared with those who have not used marijuana.  A similar pattern is seen when comparing regular marijuana users, and less frequent users. Particularly striking are differences in reported poor mental health between recent and non‐recent marijuana users and regular and non‐regular users.  Recent and regular marijuana users are more than twice as likely to report poor mental health than their non/less frequent marijuana user counterparts.   These differences are statistically significant and remain when age is accounted for.

Notes on Methodology

The Vermont Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, or BRFSS, has included questions on marijuana in each year since 2007 except 2014, allowing us to assess recent use, as well as changes over time.  Information on the BRFSS is available here:   


Information included on this page drew from research and the established literature. For more information, please see:

The Adverse Health Effects of Chronic Marijuana Use, Hall, et al.

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, an expert, ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine presents nearly 100 conclusions related to the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoid use.

Vermont Health Impact Assessment:

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