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Wayne State therapeutic marijuana use study could impact state policies, guide treatment
Date:11/3/2011

prior three months. Another 50 will be noncertified therapeutic users, those who self-reported marijuana use to alleviate symptoms at least once during the prior three months. The third group will comprise recreational users with no self-reported symptom self-medication during the prior three months.

Greenwald will use behavioral economic simulations to evaluate the sensitivity of patients' marijuana demand to experimental manipulation of unit price and income. He also will determine whether the three groups differ in their use as a function of price, in the relationship between marijuana price and demand for other drugs or therapies, and in the relationship between income and marijuana or other drug use.

"All of these are things that economists would be interested in," Greenwald said. "A lot of policy derives from economic considerations."

Data will be collected at baseline and at quarterly intervals for one year afterward. It will include clinical factors that may influence marijuana use and certification, such as socioeconomic changes; physical and mental health; substance use; criminal involvement; acute care utilization; and HIV risk-transmission behaviors. Clinical data will be used alone, as well as combined with simulated marijuana demand, to predict longitudinal patterns of marijuana and alternative therapy use.

In the second study, researchers will randomly survey 300 of the HIV clinic's 1,800 patients to determine whether patterns of marijuana use in the 150-patient prospective sample can be generalized to the entire clinic.

Researchers will try to determine whether such patterns within a large urban clinic in an area with disproportionally high HIV prevalence are representative of the rest of the country. They also will compare sample characteristics to prior cross-sectional survey data that have been reported outside the United States.

Greenwald expects his data will reveal distinct patterns, achiev
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Contact: Julie O'Connor
julie.oconnor@wayne.edu
313-577-8845
Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research
Source:Eurekalert

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