Drug official admits teen cannabis consumption doesn’t increase with legalization

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NIDA Director Nora Volkow finally acknowledges that legal cannabis doesn’t mean teen use

Legislators and other officials who have been in charge of carrying out the legalization of marijuana in different states have long assured that the consumption of the plant in adolescents does not really have a negative impact in case they live in a state where its consumption is allowed. Many people have always been skeptical about this thinking; however, during an interview, the head of a federal drug agency admitted that legalization has not really led to increased marijuana use even though she had many fears in the past. She also made reference to the therapeutic potential of various psychedelics, which have long been stigmatized by federal law.

Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), appeared on a podcast hosted by a legalization advocate and took the liberty of discussing a wide range of drug policy issues, including the need to shift from a punitive approach to drugs to one that addresses addiction. During an appearance on Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann’s show, Volkow said she was “expecting the use of marijuana among adolescents would go up” as marijuana legalization in the states increased, but admitted that “overall, it hasn’t.” She added that reform advocates like Nadelmann were the ones who, at the end of the day, were right about the impact of the policy change on youth.

Volkow understands very well that marijuana has great positive effects on a large number of patients and knows that the current federal law is a stone in the road when it comes to the development of meaningful research. There is no doubt that having a positive critical thought towards marijuana, being the top drug official in the country, should raise awareness about those who do not believe in federal reform.