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Impact of Cannabis Laws on Asthma Care

Cannabis use has increased among individuals due to its legalization across various states and it is a risk factor for respiratory diseases such as Asthma. This study examines the effect of cannabis laws on inpatient visits due to Asthma. We utilize state-level quarterly inpatient visit data among Asthma patients from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s Fast Stats Database from 2005-2017 and performs a difference-in-differences regression analysis accounting for variation in treatment effects and other confounding factors.  Results show that states with recreational cannabis law experience about 3 additional inpatient visits for Asthma per 100,000 population per quarter compared with states without recreational cannabis law (P < 0.01). No significant effect of medical cannabis laws was observed for hospitalizations due to Asthma. Adverse health outcomes of cannabis should be considered in the policy debate on cannabis legalization.

Jayani Jayawardhana1 PhD, Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Jose Fernandez PhD, Department of Economics, College of Business, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.


Dr. Jayani Jayawardhana, University of Kentucky