The cannabis industry has proven to be extremely lucrative, generating billions of dollars in taxes and creating hundreds of thousands of job opportunities. For the past two decades, states across the country have passed legalization measures and allowed cannabis sales to cash in on the profits. More than 20 states now allow adults aged 21 and over to purchase and consume recreational cannabis at registered retailers.
However, efforts to legalize the controversial plant were regularly met with resistance from critics who argued that legalizing cannabis sales would significantly escalate drug use among the youth and lead to increased criminal activity. However, years after states began legalizing cannabis for adult use, studies have repeatedly shown that the wave of cannabis reform hasn’t been associated with an uptick in drug use among the youth.
A new study from a federal drug agency has added to this growing body of research, concluding that there has not been a commensurate increase in youth drug use since states began legalizing marijuana. In the study, researchers analyzed data from three longitudinal studies that looked at past-year marijuana consumption and frequency in adolescents; the data was collected in New York, Washington State and Oregon from 1999 to 2020.Washington legalized cannabis in 2012, and voters in Oregon allowed marijuana in 2014 while New York has yet to begin sales despite approving a legalization measure last year.
As these and other states chose to legalize cannabis, drug reform opponents argued that this would encourage more youth and children to consume cannabis.
Researchers from Colorado State University, Oregon Social Learning Center and the University of Washington have now found that these claims were baseless, concluding that legalization has not resulted in a significant increase in past-year cannabis use. They published their findings in the “American Journal of Protective Medicine.”
The researchers said that their findings, when taken together with prior research on the matter, made it clear that there hasn’t been an upward trend in adolescent cannabis use in the wake of marijuana legalization. They noted that their research expanded on previous studies that came to this same conclusion, such as a study from Michigan State University, which concluded that retail marijuana sales were not associated with increased cannabis use in underage individuals who could not purchase cannabis from registered outlets.
A survey from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also found that cannabis use among young people has dropped dramatically. This countrywide trend is most likely due to stringent controls put in place in legal cannabis outlets to prevent underage patrons from accessing legal cannabis.
These studies confirm that in a way, licensed marijuana companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) are directly and indirectly helping to combat cannabis use by minors in the jurisdictions where marijuana is legal.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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