Title

State Recreational Marijuana Laws and Dispensaries: Chronic School Absenteeism in Washington State

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2021

Publication Title

Health Behavior and Policy Review

Volume

8

Issue

4

First page number:

365

Last page number:

373

Abstract

Objective: Whereas states continue to experiment with liberalized marijuana laws, how these laws impact health, education, and social factors is not yet fully understood. In this study, we examined whether chronic school absenteeism rates changed in Washington State in the presence of recreational marijuana dispensaries pursuant to implementation of the state’s recreational marijuana laws. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis using school district chronic absenteeism rates before and after the presence of recreational dispensaries. Results: The results of the independent samples t-test showed no statistically significant difference in chronic absenteeism rates among districts with or without recreational marijuana dispensaries. Conclusions: The finding of no statistical significance for chronic absenteeism in districts with and without recreational dispensaries – a pattern that largely persisted among at-risk groups – supports that the presence of recreational marijuana dispensaries seems neither to exacerbate nor improve chronic school absenteeism rates. This finding is important for policymakers, practitioners, and researchers trying to understand the changing marijuana legal landscape.

Keywords

Cannabis, drug use; Chronic school absenteeism; Public health; Recreational marijuana; School health

Disciplines

Food and Drug Law | Health Policy

Language

English


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