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Past-year marijuana use and dependence: veterans versus general population
  1. Andrew D Derminassian1,
  2. M S Nickel2 and
  3. K C Alcover3
  1. 1Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  2. 2Department of Biology, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington State, USA
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr K C Alcover, Department of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA; karl.alcover{at}

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There has been a need for national estimates of marijuana use (MU) among US veterans for research,1 2 as MU has increased along with relaxation of policies for use across the USA. National reports showed increase in MU within the US veterans population,3 in which risks of mental health and illegal drug use are high.4 MU disorders, such as marijuana dependence (MD) among veterans, increased to over 50% based on Veteran Affairs (VA) encounter data.5 However, it is unknown whether these findings are corroborated using nationally representative samples data. In addition, there have been no population-level studies that compared MU and MD rates year-by-year among US veterans to US civilian residents. This study examined the pattern of the prevalence of MU and MD for both populations and compared the year-specific prevalence estimates between the two groups.

Independent, nationally representative …

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  • Contributors AD designed the study, conducted data management and statistical analyses, and completed the first draft of the paper. MSN helped design the study and reviewed and edited the draft of the paper. KCA completed institutional requirements, coordinated the team, designed the study, supervised data analyses and revised the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The opinions and assertions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or the Department of Defense.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.