Repeat studies show that legalizing cannabis doesn’t lead to a rise in teen consumption
Although legalizing the marijuana market in different regions of the country is already an unstoppable reality, many opponents still consider that the consequences could be devastating at a social level, such as the increase in consumption among young people. However, once again, a study has come to put those thoughts to rest. Recent federally funded research shows that the legalization of the plant has absolutely nothing to do with increased use among adolescents.
One of the main federal drug agencies has decided to use its funds to finance a new study to analyze the relationship between legalization and teenage use. The results were loud and clear; legalization of cannabis at the state level has no link whatsoever to increased use among the country’s young population.
The research article analyzed data from three longitudinal studies on cannabis use in the past year. This data was then compared with the frequency of use among adolescents over the past two decades in New York, Oregon, and Washington State. Washington and Oregon legalized marijuana in 2012 and 2014, respectively, while New York closed this deal last year. The opening of retail stores in the Empire State is still pending.
With two of the states opting to legalize recreational cannabis on the ballot, many have begun to argue that reform would lead to more underage cannabis users, despite numerous studies contradicting that point. Again, other research has congruently debunked that argument. Funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the study showed that “youth who spent more of their adolescence under legalization were no more or less likely to have used cannabis at age 15 years than adolescents who spent little or no time under legalization.”