A new study by Washington State found that the number of youths using marijuana has reduced following the state legalization of recreational marijuana.
According to the study, the number of students in grades six, eight, 10, and 12 in King County purchasing marijuana for personal use reduced or remained constant the whole of 2016. The consumption rate of the female students in grade 10 remained constant while that of the male students decreased. However, there was a spike up to four times the number of alcohol users among the users and non-users of cannabis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality published the findings in their weekly report this Friday supporting past studies with similar results on the decline of marijuana use among the youths after legalization of recreational cannabis in Washington and other states in the U.S.
To assess the health risk behaviors of the youth, the department of health in Washington conducts a Washington State Health Survey among public school students in grades six, eight, 10, and 12 after every two years. While conducting their study, the researchers from Seattle and King County analyzed the data from 2004-2016 on substance abuse before making their conclusions.
The researchers established that there was a decline in the number of sixth-graders using marijuana in the past 30 days, while there was no change in the number of eighth-graders who used weed in those 30 days. The rate of the sophomores and seniors consuming cannabis increased in the year 2004-2012; however, the percentage decreased after marijuana was legalized for personal use in 2012. The findings from the survey contradict the opponents who thought that legalizing marijuana would pave the way for access to cannabis by teenagers.
From the analyzed data, they found that grade 10 students who admitted to using marijuana in the past month also used other substances such as alcohol, vape pens, and cigarettes. 67% used alcohol, 43% vape pens, and 24% cigarettes.
The reason why the rate of marijuana consumption among teens decreased is because of the reduction in the illicit supply of weed by introducing legal competitors in the markets. The youth may have also lost interest in the drug once it became legal. The government should also monitor other factors that prompt the use of marijuana, such as association with family and friends.
The decline or constant state of marijuana consumption was also evident in the state of Colorado and Oregon, who legalized recreational marijuana in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Analysts agree that marijuana industry players like Neutra Corp. (OTCQB: NTRR) and Organigram Holdings Inc. (TSX: OGI) (NASDAQ: OGI) feel vindicated that research has shown that legalization of marijuana was never a ploy to get kids using marijuana.
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