New Study Finds Decreased Rates of Teen Pot Use in States With Legal Cannabis
One expert speculates that legalization makes it more difficult for teens to access cannabis.
A new study has found that the rate of cannabis use by teens has gone down in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. Results of the research were published online on Monday by JAMA Pediatrics.
To conduct the study, researchers analyzed survey data on marijuana use by 1.4 million teenagers from 1993 to 2017. During that time period, 27 states and Washington, D.C. legalized medical marijuana, while seven states legalized the recreational use of cannabis.
The study found that states with laws legalizing the recreational use of cannabis saw an 8 percent drop in the rate of teens who reported using marijuana during the previous 30 days and a decrease of 9 percent in the rate of frequent cannabis use. Frequent use was defined as the use of marijuana at least 10 times during the previous 30 days.
Mark Anderson, an associate professor in agricultural economics at Montana State University in Bozeman and lead author of the study, noted that states that had only legalized medical marijuana did not see an associated drop in teen use.
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