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Adam, Christian and Raschzok, Andreas (March 2017): Cannabis policy and the uptake of treatment for cannabis‐related problems. In: Drug and Alcohol Review, Vol. 36, No. 2: pp. 171-177

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Introduction and Aims We examine public health effects of steps towards more permissive cannabis policies introduced in Belgium, Finland, France and Portugal between 1999 and 2004. Public health effects are captured in terms of cannabis‐induced treatment uptake as reported by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

Design and Methods We use a quasi‐experimental difference‐in‐differences design drawing on observational data.

Results While the number of clients with primary cannabis problems per reporting treatment unit has generally increased, this increase does not seem to be substantially stronger in the countries that introduced more permissive cannabis policies.

Discussion and Conclusions The specific reforms carried out in the group of reforming countries can thus not be shown to have had adverse effects on public health in terms of treatment uptake.

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