This study estimated the percentage of age 35 and 55 adults reporting using medical marijuana intended for someone else (diverted use) and compared demographics and health status of such users with respondents reporting recommended use (i.e., individuals with a medical marijuana recommendation for their own health conditions) and to respondents using marijuana not intended for medical use (nonmedical marijuana [NMM] use).
Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using complex sample survey data collected from 2013 to 2018 from 12,138 adults (6,998 women) at modal ages 35 or 55 participating in the U.S. national Monitoring the Future study.
Diverted use was reported by 72.9% [95% CI, 66.4, 79.4] and 64.3% [56.0, 72.7] of age 35 and 55 past-12-month medical marijuana users, respectively. Age 35 diverted users were more likely than recommended users to not work full time and have no postsecondary education. Age 55 recommended users were more likely than NMM users to be retired. Age 35 diverted users were less likely than recommended users to report poor physical health (odds ratio [OR] = 0.40 [0.17, 0.94]). Age 55 diverted users were less likely than recommended users to report three or more poor health conditions (OR = 0.22 [0.09, 0.55]) and any qualifying conditions (OR = 0.21 [0.08, 0.58]). Prevalence of these conditions was similar between diverted and NMM users.