AMHERST — In an attempt to understand cannabis use in the state before recreational marijuana sales soon begin, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a “marijuana baseline health study” on Friday.
The study — an effort conducted in no small part by University of Massachusetts researchers — provides a snapshot of patterns of and perceptions of marijuana use, the prevalence of hospitalizations and impaired driving, and the economic impacts of cannabis for state and local government.
The study was mandated by lawmakers in 2017, and will give researchers a baseline from which they can analyze future data — something other states that have legalized marijuana have struggled with.
“It’s pulling together a bunch of different data sources, and I think that it’s really important that this study was done, and done at the time that it was done,” said Jennifer Whitehill, a public health researcher at UMass Amherst who worked on the
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