Where cannabis has been legalized, fewer adolescents are consuming it
A new study once again silences the thoughts of many cannabis opponents, who indicate that legalization expands cannabis use among minors. In addition to this not being the case, the study also claims that states with legal cannabis have lower rates of driving-related problems than states where the drug has not yet received the go-ahead. The research is consistent; the legalization of cannabis does not have social negatives.
A new large-scale survey by a marijuana policy consulting firm found that the onset of early marijuana use is significantly higher in states where the plant remains criminalized. As if that weren’t enough, people are using more frequently, which could also lead to many more problems on the road due to its uncontrolled influence.
With 25 states analyzed, Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC) studied a wide range of cannabis use trends among its jurisdictions. In order to find a key comparative, they included states where cannabis is completely prohibited, where recreational marijuana use is legal and even where only medical marijuana is allowed.
Overall, the findings demonstrate that regulatory markets tend to promote more responsible behavior among their consumers. The CPPC document asserts that this encourages positive public health outcomes related to cannabis and prevents people who are not yet old enough to use it from falling into temptation.
According to experts, the average age of initiation into illicit states is 16.7 years old. However, in states where recreational and/or medical marijuana is approved, the average age is 17 or 18. That difference may seem nominal, but as the researchers pointed out, “the difference of approximately four months before the onset of cannabis use in illicit states may well represent a critical part of” youth development.