According to an analysis by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, areas with a higher density of marijuana dispensaries have a higher number of marijuana-related hospitalizations. The study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence took a look at California hospital discharges between 2001 and 2012 that were linked with marijuana abuse or dependence issues. Researchers found that “each additional dispensary per square mile in a ZIP code was associated with a 6.8 percent increase in the number of hospitalizations linked to marijuana abuse and dependence.” Dispensaries and hospitalizations were also found to be more likely to happen in zip codes with lower education levels and lower household incomes.

“Hospitalizations with marijuana abuse or dependence codes increased from 17,469 in 2001 to 68,408 in 2012. More than 85 percent of marijuana-related hospitalizations were coded as abuse, rather than dependence, and 99.2 percent were secondary codes, meaning the person was primarily hospitalized for something other than marijuana.”

Click here to read the full article for Medical News Today.