Marijuana legalization is one of the most divisive topics of the decade. While proponents swear by its medical abilities and say that taxes from cannabis sales can be used to address various social issues, those against argue that it is a gateway drug and that legalizing it will make it more accessible to children and teenagers. In fact, a survey by Gallup found that 83% of opponents to legalization believe it would make marijuana more accessible to the youth. However, a survey of cannabis use disorders carried out in Colorado and Washington found this to be wholly untrue.
The survey was led by researchers from Temple University and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study concluded that after recreational marijuana was legalized, “the rate of adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana use declined significantly, with the mean rate falling nearly in half between 2009 and 2017. The decline in admissions rate was greater in Colorado and Washington compared to other states where recreational marijuana is not legal.” This is despite the fact that for more than 70% of minors admitted for treatment in Colorado, marijuana is their drug of choice.
“While we are encouraged that rates of new treatment admissions for marijuana use among adolescents exhibited a general decline in the studies we examined, it is unclear whether these findings reflect trends in the prevalence of CUD (cannabis use disorder) or, rather, changes in treatment-seeking behavior due to changing perceptions of risk and public attitudes towards marijuana use,” the authors of the study caution.
They say that the worst-case scenario is that the need for treatment still exists but isn’t being met for some reason despite youth use stagnating or even increasing. “It may be the case that admission rates are falling because an increasing proportion of adolescents with CUD are not entering treatment.”
This study adds to a large body of research on the effects of legalizing marijuana on the country’s youth. A study by the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice to determine the effects of legalizing marijuana on the youth concluded that Colorado is not experiencing an increase in youth usage of marijuana. “The youth marijuana rate reported for the 2017-2018 school year (9.1%) was the lowest it’s been since 2007-2008, and the proportion of students trying marijuana before age 13 went down from 9.2% in 2015 to 6.5% in 2017.”
Analysts say these research findings give sector players like Champignon Brands Inc. (CSE: SHRM) (OTCQB: SHRMF) (FWB: 496) to push for the easing of federal restrictions on conducting marijuana research so that more reliable information is available about this versatile plant.
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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