Does Medical Marijuana Legalization Impact Teen Drug Use?
published on February 27, 2018 by Kelly Burch in the fix
Despite studies that indicated that the legalization of medical marijuana does not increase pot use among teens, skeptics and opponents of marijuana legalization continued to question whether that could really be the case.
This prompted researchers to do a thorough review of all the reliable studies that concluded that medical marijuana legalization does not impact teen cannabis use.
“We had done an earlier study published in the Lancet in 2015 of a million adolescents that were surveyed yearly between 1991 and 2014, and found no increase in teen use of cannabis or marijuana. We were surprised by that result,” Dr. Deborah S. Hasin, a study author and professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, told ABC News.
Despite the wide-reaching data set for that survey, some still refused to believe that teen drug use did not increase after medical marijuana was legalized. “People were so convinced that medical marijuana laws were going to increase teen use so they questioned the relationship,” Hasin said.
To get a more comprehensive picture, researchers examined 11 studies of teen marijuana use in states that had legalized medical pot. The studies covered data from more than two decades, from 1991 to 2014. However, none of them found any link between the legalization of medical marijuana and increasing teen pot use.