Interesting bit of news from a study on medical cannabis’ legalization. The prohibitionists have long suggested that legalizing medical marijuana would just lead to more kids smoking up after school. Turns out that’s a claim that’s easily studied! Which, as you must know by now, you should avoid doing at all costs when you’re advocating something so anti-reality as prohibition of a substance less harmful than alcohol — because you’ll just get caught making claims that don’t bear any level of scrutiny. There’s even two states that are fairly close culturally to serve as subjects.
Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, but Massachusetts did not. “We wanted to pair these two states because they have so much in common culturally and geographically,” says Dr. Esther Choo, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital.
Choo’s analysis used data collected from 1997 to 2009 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The analysis involved nearly 13,000 youth in Rhode Island and about 25,000 in Massachusetts. In each state in any given year, the study found, about 30% of youth reported using marijuana at least once in the previous month.
In other words, while marijuana use was common, there was no significant difference in rates of pot use between the years before and after legalization in Rhode Island. “We found no effect of the policy change,” says Choo.
Emphasis mine. Wow, giving patients access to pot for medical purposes doesn’t turn kids into stoners. What a surprise!