Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Increase Teen Use


Well here’s a shock. You know all that fear-mongering by the moral busybodies in opposition to decriminalizing either medical marijuana or all marijuana, the one about how teens will become mindless pot zombies? Turns out it’s completely untrue. What a surprise.

More to the point, the notion that medical marijuana leads to increased use among teenagers is flat-out wrong. A new study by economists Daniel Rees, Benjamin Hansen and D. Mark Anderson is the latest in a growing body of research showing no connection — none, zero, zilch — between the enactment of medical marijuana laws and underage use of the drug.

The authors examined marijuana trends in states that passed medical marijuana laws. They tracked self-reported pot use by high school students in the years leading up to and following the enactment of these laws. They conclude that the effects of medical marijuana on teen use are “small, consistently negative, and never statistically distinguishable from zero.”…

I asked study co-author Daniel Rees if there were any significant changes within individual states. He told me that “no single state stood out — the effect of massing a medical marijuana law on youth consumption appears to be zero across the board.” These results are consistent with earlier research showing little change in youth pot consumption in Los Angeles after marijuana dispensaries opened there.

Imagine that — actual data shows hysterical fear-mongering to be false.

Comments

  1. says

    Obviously there’s no change. It’s a Gateway Drug®. And they’ve already used it. Ergo, no statistical change, as they’ve already moved on to other Drugs, like cocaine, crack, and dancing.

  2. D. C. Sessions says

    Imagine that — actual data shows hysterical fear-mongering to be false.

    Hardly surprising. Data has a well-known bias.

  3. Artor says

    Legalizing & regulating pot will have a much stronger effect on reducing teen use than just about anything else. Since it’s readily available on the black market, teens can get as much weed as they want, pretty much whenever they want. If it were treated like alcohol, it would be significantly harder for kids to get their hands on.

  4. Synfandel says

    Imagine that — actual data shows hysterical fear-mongering to be false.

    Oh, yeah? Just wait until Dean Chambers unskews the data. Then you’ll see the statistical significance.

  5. matty1 says

    From memory there are always ways for teens to get hold of alcohol – ‘borrow’ from someones parents, persuade an older friend to go to the shop and of course the old classic fake ID. There are many good reasons to legalise and regulate marijuana but I’m not convinced reduced availability to the underage is one of them.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says

    … no connection — none, zero, zilch …

    So not even one teenager has been prescribed medical marijuana?

  7. Chris J says

    @Pierce R. Butler

    In other words, the amount of pot being used hasn’t changed with legalization. The source of the pot might have changed, though.

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