Each year there seems to be a new study focused on teens and cannabis use, and whether or not legal marijuana leads to more young adults getting high. The most recent study followed in the footsteps of several previous studies and came to the sam conclusion: there is no correlation between states with legal weed and teen marijuana use.
Published in the journal Substance Abuse, researchers from Harvard University, John Hopkins and the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reviewed data from 46 states collected over a 24-year period.
The study found that there is no evidence that suggests medical marijuana programs resulted in more cannabis consumption in teens. Overall, states with legal medical marijuana had fewer instances of teens consuming cannabis.
“This study found no evidence between 1991 and 2015 of increases in adolescents reporting past 30-day marijuana use or heavy marijuana use associated with state MML [medical marijuana law] enactment or operational MML dispensaries,” cited researchers.
Marijuana use in young adults has long been a concern for opponents of medical and recreational marijuana, who believe that the herb’s acceptance could make teens more interested in trying these substances during a time in their lives when their brains are not fully formed and they’re more malleable. Still, heaping amounts of studies suggest that this isn’t the case.
Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, said in a statement: “This data, gathered from 46 states over more than two decades, show unequivocally that medical cannabis access can be legally regulated in a manner that is safe, effective, and that does not inadvertently impact young people’s habits. These findings should reassure politicians and others that states’ real-world experience with medical cannabis is a success from both a public health and a public safety perspective.”
While marijuana use in teens has many unknown factors and is something worth monitoring, studies like this continue to show that legal medical marijuana is a safe way of providing a service to people who need it, while also boosting the economy and creating jobs.