A study whose findings were published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Friday suggests that marijuana use among high school students is exhibiting a downward trend. This study comes to the same conclusion as another study that was conducted in the U.S.
According to the New Zealand study, the proportion of high school students who admitted that they tried using marijuana dropped to 23 percent in 2012 from the 38 percent recorded in 2001. The proportion of students who admitted to using marijuana on a weekly basis also reduced from approximately 6 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in the figures for 2012.
The data used to arrive at these findings was taken from a total of 2,000 national surveys done in 2001, 2007 and 2012.
Jude Ball, the lead author of the study, admitted that while his team’s findings were five years old, they were still a valuable indicator of teen behavior with regard to marijuana use.
Brad Olsen, a 22-year old New Zealander, talked about his age cohort in response to questions about marijuana use among teens and young adults. Olsen revealed that social media has increased teens’ awareness about different global issues, such as alcohol and drugs. This has made young people to become more careful regarding what they do, and most had resorted to seeking out better experiences (travel and concerts, for example).
Olsen’s views seem to hold water given how often posts and images about travel show up on the social media accounts of teens and young adults.
It is also possible that as people start joining the workforce earlier in life, their priorities change and they are less inclined to get involved in risky behavior that can jeopardize their day-to-day pursuits.
The findings of this study in New Zealand have come at a critical time when the country is gearing up to vote (during the 2020 general election) on whether recreational marijuana should be legalized in the country.
The study findings almost mirror the results of a similar study that was conducted this year in the U.S. The researchers found that there was an 8 percent reduction in the number of high school students who use marijuana ever since the drug was legalized for medical use.
The authors of that study concluded that there was no proof to show that when marijuana is legalized, more teens use the drug.
Analysts believe that industry players like Neutra Corp. (OTCQB: NTRR) and Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) may feel vindicated by these research findings since the industry has always insisted that legalizing marijuana doesn’t trigger a rise in teen use of the substance.
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