Federal Study: Passage Of Medical Marijuana Laws Don’t Increase Teen Use

Federal Study: Passage Of Medical Marijuana Laws Don’t Increase Teen UseThe enactment of state laws legalizing the use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes has not caused an increase in marijuana use by adolescents, according to the results of a federally funded study published this week in Lancet Psychiatry.

Investigators at Columbia University in New York and the University of Michigan assessed the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and rates of self-reported adolescent marijuana use over a 24-year period in a sampling of over one million adolescents in 48 states. Researchers reported no increase in teens’ overall use of the plant that could be attributable to changes in law, and acknowledged a “robust” decrease in use among 8th graders.

They concluded: “[T]he results of this study showed no evidence for an increase in adolescent marijuana use after the passage of state laws permitting use of marijuana for medical purposes. … [C]oncerns that increased marijuana use is an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seem unfounded.”

The study’s results are consistent with the findings of previous assessments — such as those available here, here, here, here, and here. But this latest study is the most well designed and comprehensive assessment performed to date.

Full text of the study, “Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the USA from 1991 to 2014: results from annual, repeated cross-sectional surveys,” appears online here.

19 thoughts

  1. Thank you Paul for citing these valuable studies, and special thanks to the University of Michigan and Columbia University for making people like Kevin Sabet, Ben Stein and cartels within Sheriff’s Associations all across the nation FINALLY shut the hell UP!

  2. Headlines: “Marijuana… Still Safe for Society!”

    What are people expecting? Are they all so Chicken Little? Really?

  3. This year is a good time for people to call for Congress to enact this reasonable reform to the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, to help reinforce the results of this study that cannabis use does not cause an increase in marijuana use by adolescents:

    The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L.

    Regardless of its schedule, this simple definition of marijuana in the CSA will provide clear and unambiguous guidance to parents who use cannabis for medical purposes, and their children, to not smoke it.

  4. “[C]oncerns that increased marijuana use is an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seem unfounded. … The study’s results are consistent with the findings of previous assessments — such as those available here, here, here, here, and here.”

    Reproducible results!

  5. There is a growing sense that most of the unintended consequences of cannabis legalization will be beneficial, not detrimental.

  6. The only way I’m letting my son play high school football and inevitably receive mind-altering concussions is if I don ‘t have to bail him out of jail for consuming marijuana to treat his injuries and protect his brain.

  7. Great study but who really imagined that having medicine available would increase drug use in teens. If anything portraying cannabis as a drug for the sick and disabled makes it less glamorous. So the only danger I can see is that they may start to use some other illicit substance rather than cannabis.
    Maybe the criminal element (which is the glamour and danger that attracts the rebellious youth) should be taken out of every substance – just a thought !

  8. Imagine coffee was illegal!

    New dangerous coffee on the streets! Going by street names such as OG Java 47 and Kofi Kush Kaff, this new type of coffee is wrecking havok among our youth. It contains 300% more caffeine than the coffee those old hipsters used to drink in their coffee establishments in the 60’s.

    In 2015, the National Organization for the Reform of Caffeine laws shows a federal study that medical coffee use does not lead to an increase in teen use.

    On a more serious note… Caffeine is a drug. Ever noticed that feeling after five cups of coffee? Here is a suggestion. Take a couple of perfectly legal caffeine pills, grind them up, and snort them. Enjoy your cocaine rush. Just don’t tell the chillun! Always think of the chillun, mmmmkay?

    Prohibition is a fucking joke.

  9. Nobody ODs on Nature’s own homegrown marijuana, aka weed. Meanwhile, kids are dying on this synthetic marijuana aka spice.

    Pot Prohibition is taking lives, not saving them!

    Even I know where to find spice here in town.

    What the Hell is going on at the ONDCP?

  10. Maybe the criminal element (which is the glamour and danger that attracts the rebellious youth) should be taken out of every substance – just a thought ! – phrDao

    A really rational thought!

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