Cannabis Use Not Associated With Injury Among Trauma Patients, Study Says

Louisville, KY: Use of cannabis is not independently associated with injuries requiring hospitalization, according to clinical data published in the March issue of the Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care.

A research team at SUNY (State University of New York) Buffalo’s Department of Family Medicine conducted a logistical retrogression analysis of approximately 900 trauma patients with positive toxicology screens for drugs and alcohol. Authors found, “Alcohol and cocaine use is independently associated with violence-related injuries, whereas opiate use is independently associated with nonviolent injuries and burns. … Associations of positive toxicology test results for … cannabis … with injury type, injury mechanisms, and outcomes were not statistically significant.”

NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano said that the findings countered allegations from the Drug Czar’s office that cannabis use is a leading “factor in emergency room visits.”

Armentano said: “Among trauma patients requiring hospitalization, cannabis is rarely mentioned independent of other drugs. More importantly, cannabis use alone is not associated with the sort of serious or violent injuries that are typically correlated with the use of alcohol and cocaine – two substances that, unlike marijuana, often increase aggressive or risk-taking behavior among users.”

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. Full text of the study, “Toxicology Screening Results: Injury Associations Among Hospitalized Trauma Patients,” appears in the March issue of the Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care.