It was always feared that teen pot use would go through the roof as more states legalized marijuana either for medical or recreational use. However, a recent study has found that the contrary is happening as fewer teens reported using marijuana in the states where medical cannabis is legal.
The researchers found that the states where medical cannabis is legal had 1.1 percent fewer teens taking pot when compared to the states where no medical cannabis laws exist.
While that overall statistic looks small, the figures take on greater importance when one examines the data for various groups of teens. For example, there was a 2.7 percent reduction among high school males while pot use decreased by 3.9 percent among African-American students. Similarly, there was a drop of 2.7 percent observed among Hispanic students.
The researchers who came up with these findings are based at the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. The team was led by Rebekah Levine Coley.
The researchers used data collected by the U.S. CDC during the Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted every other year.
Coley’s team focused on the data collected between 1999 and 2015. This data involved about 860,000 students in 45 states.
The researchers tracked how teen pot use had been changing during that 16-year timeframe. Results for states that enacted medical marijuana laws were compared to those of states where medical cannabis remained illegal.
Interestingly, the researchers found that the drop in teen pot use increased the longer a state had medical cannabis laws on its books. For example, teens were nine percent less likely to use marijuana if a state had medical marijuana laws that were less than five years old while the odds of a teen using marijuana reduced by 32 percent for states that legalized medical marijuana ten years ago.
Coley explains that some theories could account for this reduction of teen pot use in states where medical marijuana has been legalized.
First, the drop may be because the adolescents start viewing marijuana as something used as a medicine, so they no longer have the urge to use it recreationally.
Secondly, the change in marijuana laws may have prompted parents to start talking to their kids about marijuana use, as well as supervising them to ensure that they aren’t using drugs.
However, some people have criticized the conclusions of this research saying that the researchers didn’t consider the states where recreational marijuana is legal. Coley and her team responded that they were now turning their attention to studying the data from states where adult-use marijuana laws are in place.
Be that as it may, the cannabis industry, especially Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) welcomes this study because it helps to dispel some of the false information circulated about marijuana.
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