Co-use of cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol during adolescence: policy and regulatory implications

Nicolas J. Schlienz, Dustin C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Legislative reforms have legalized use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Efforts to evaluate the public health impact of these changes have predominantly focused on determining whether liberalizing cannabis policies has increased cannabis use patterns. Co-use of cannabis and other licit substances, namely tobacco and alcohol, is common during the developmental period of adolescence, which is generally characterized by an increase in risk-taking and novelty-seeking. However, limited research has sought to evaluate the potential implications of reforms to medical and recreational cannabis laws on concurrent and simultaneous use of cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol during adolescence. The current report reviews the extant literature detailing the prevalence and outcomes associated with concurrent and simultaneous cannabis–tobacco and cannabis–alcohol use, including recent work that has examined how concurrent and simultaneous use may be influenced by cannabis reform. This review details how the cannabis landscape and cannabis retail marketplace have evolved and briefly summarizes the corresponding policy and regulatory challenges that have emerged. The report concludes with a focused cannabis co-use research agenda that adopts different strategies including behavioural economic, self-administration, and survey research methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-237
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Review of Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2018


  • Cannabis
  • adolescence
  • alcohol
  • co-use
  • marijuana
  • policy
  • reform
  • simultaneous use
  • tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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