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Doctors should routinely ask their patients during medical visits about the use of marijuana as part of “whole-person care” – and then start a dialogue with them. (Photo: Shutterstock)

After medical and recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington, it’s not surprising to learn that the use of the substance is on the rise in the Evergreen State. And so is the potential for “cannabis use disorder” — i.e., addiction, which can exacerbate depression and anxiety, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente researchers in Seattle.

About one in seven adult primary care patients visiting medical offices in Washington reported having used marijuana at least once in the past year, according to an analysis of 22,000 patient records by researchers at the Washington Health Research Institute, whose findings were published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.

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