Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Lead To Increased Youth Use, American Medical Association Study Finds

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Youth marijuana use does not increase after states enact legalization for medical or recreational use, researchers concluded in a study published in a prominent scientific journal on Tuesday. The policy change instead has an overall impact on adolescent cannabis consumption that is “statistically indistinguishable from zero,” they found. In fact, it seems that establishing certain regulated cannabis models actually leads to lower marijuana use among adolescents under certain measures—a finding that directly conflicts with anti-legalization arguments that are commonly made by prohibitionists. The analysis, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed federal Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 1993-2019 in 10 medical or adult-use states. It builds upon existing studies on the impact of cannabis reform on youth consumption that have reached similar conclusions. Researchers determined that the adoption of recreational cannabis legalization “was not associated with current marijuana use or frequent marijuana use.” Further, “medical marijuana law (MML) adoption was associated with a 6% decrease in the odds of current marijuana use and a 7% decrease in the odds of frequent marijuana use.” Via JAMA. The study, which received partial funding through a federal National Institutes of Health grant, also found that youth cannabis consumption decreased in states where recreational legalization had been in place for two years or more. “Consistent with estimates from prior studies, there was little evidence that RMLs or MMLs encourage youth marijuana use,” the researchers said. “As more post-legalization data become available, researchers will be able to draw firmer conclusions about the relationship between RMLs and adolescent marijuana use.” The study authors didn’t attempt to explain why youth might not be using marijuana more frequently in states that have legalized, but it’s a trend that doesn’t surprise advocates who have long reasoned that permitting sales in a regulated environment would detract…

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Source : Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Lead To Increased Youth Use, American Medical Association Study Finds

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