Party? Hardly: It seems most former marijuana users will pass

Re “Dude, it’s back” (Page One, March 24): My colleagues and I also wondered whether former marijuana users would resume use if it were legalized in their state. So we asked them. Data from RTI International’s national survey, conducted in 2016 and 2017, suggest that 10 percent of adult former users would definitely use it again if it were legal, and 26 percent would probably use it. Most people didn’t think they would resume use, even in the context of legalization. In fact, the most common response we received was “definitely not” (35 percent).

It is worth noting that our data are a snapshot from a moment in time, and people’s intentions to use marijuana may change in response to the changing social and legal environment. It is also possible that some respondents were reluctant to report their plans to resume marijuana use, since it is illegal at the federal level, and was illegal for recreational use in the states where we asked this question.

In any case, our data appear to confirm what reporter Robert Weisman found in talking with baby boomers across Massachusetts: Some look forward to trying it again; others aren’t especially interested.

Jane A. Allen

Research public health analyst

Center for Health Policy Science and Tobacco Research

RTI International