A newly published research paper is suggesting that while the overall number of young people who use marijuana has increased over the years, there appears to be a reduction in teen marijuana use in states where recreational cannabis has been legalized.
The legalization of recreational cannabis has been linked to an 8 percent drop in the number of high school teens who confessed that they had used marijuana in the past 30 days. There was also a 9 percent drop in high schoolers who reported that they had used cannabis a minimum of 10 times in the past 30 days.
Mark Anderson, the lead author of the study which was published on Monday this week, said that it was important for people reading the research findings to note that the researchers didn’t find any link between the prevalence of teen marijuana use and the passing of medical cannabis laws in different states.
The researchers also stressed that the study doesn’t suggest that when recreational marijuana laws are passed, then teen cannabis use drops. The study only points to an association, not causation.
The findings of the study were arrived at after analyzing the annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveys done by the U.S. CDC. The researchers specifically looked at the data collected between 1993 and 2017. This data included information on 1.4 million high schoolers.
The researchers zeroed in on the responses about marijuana use before recreational cannabis laws were passed and after legalization. The same was done for areas where medical marijuana laws were enacted.
The researchers believe that their findings are the most reliable on the matter, but they also added that many states didn’t have recent self-reported data on teen marijuana use since legalization laws had only started being implemented recently. They therefore vowed to update their statistics after a few more years to reflect the data sets on the states where recreational marijuana has recently been legalized.
However, this study seems to contradict what other studies have found. For example, the Criminal Justice Department in Colorado found that there was no change in teen marijuana use from the time recreational marijuana was legalized five years ago.
Commenting on this recent study, scientists have wondered why that drop in high schoolers using marijuana has been observed. Some suggested that when adult-use marijuana is legalized, it becomes harder to get cannabis off the streets, and this could limit teen access to the substance. It would be interesting to hear what marijuana companies like Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: NABIF) (FRA: 71P) have to say about this potential explanation for the drop in teen marijuana use.
More research needs to be done to establish what exactly is causing the drop in teen marijuana use in places where recreational marijuana is legal.
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