Washington: Marijuana Law Changes Not Associated With Increased Teen Use

Changes in marijuana laws are not associated with increased use of the substance by teens, according to data compiled by Washington’ Healthy Youth Survey and published by the Washington State Institute of Public Policy.

State survey results from the years 2002 to 2014 show little change in cannabis consumption by Washington teens despite the passage of laws permitting and expanding the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes during this time.

Self-reported marijuana use fell slightly among 8th graders, 10th graders, and 12th graders during this period. Young people’ self-reported access to cannabis also remained largely unchanged during this time period, although more 8th graders now report that marijuana is “hard to get.”

The passage of voter-initiated legislation legalizing the adult use of cannabis in 2012 is also not to associated with any increase in consumption by youth. Between 2012 and 2014, self-reported lifetime marijuana use and/or use within the past 30 days either stayed stable or fell among all of the age groups surveyed.

The report concluded, “[C]annabis use and access among students in 6th through 12th grades have changed little from 2002 through the most recent survey in 2014.”

The findings are consistent with those of previous assessments acknowledging that liberalizing state marijuana laws does not stimulate increased use among young people.

8 thoughts

  1. “Young people’s self-reported access to cannabis also remained largely unchanged during this time period, although more 8th graders now report that marijuana is hard to get.'”

    Contrast this with the results of one of those anti-marijuana advertisements the government was spending $100 million to air. The only measurable effect these advertisements had was that some 13-year-old girls were more likely to try marijuana.

  2. I don’t think it’s because teens are anti-marijuana, they simply understand it more and not to make such a big deal about it.

  3. Marijuana would have been largely ignored by our society if the racist liars hadn’t made it into a forbidden fruit! It is incredibly ironic that efforts to squash our fav herb increased, dramatically, its appeal – funny really. What isn’t funny is the millions of people who have been negatively affected by prohitionist laws and totally unjust punishments for an imaginary crime.

    We should all help get out the word about Joe Biden. He is a Nixonian drug warrior who is largely responsible for the Drug Czar position having been created. He is a great friend to the prison system. He has been a truly great friend to the DEA. People need to be made to understand he is absolutely not someone who should hold any public office – especially not that of the POTUS!!! Damn him! He has done great harm to our country with his militaristic approach to marijuana prohibition and deserves to go down in history as the villain that he is!

  4. What about Maryland laws. Not much is going on in this area and being 73, I’m running short on time.
    More action from our reps.


  5. It’s what I’ve been saying since I was a teenager… take the rebellious allure away and instead of pissing off you’re parents… you’re… self-medicating? Instead of giving the finger to Uncle Sam, you’re… participating in non-violent civil disobedience from a largely accepted medical and recreational practice?
    The naked truth is out there. Nothing more to see… Just mother nature’s medicine cabinet, just without your parent’s cabinet locks. Some will consume more than others. Big deal.
    What concerns the hell out of me is how to educate my young kids about heroin!

  6. @Don M – You’re right about Biden! The policies he has pushed for many years have harmed a tremendous number of people just because they have chosen to use cannabis.

    While I have sympathy for what he is feeling regarding the loss of his son, it is a bit of karma considering how many lives he is responsible for ruining.

  7. How many 1,000’s of lives has Joe Biden flushed down the Toilet of His War on Drugs??? The guy is crazy, he even lies about how his wife and daughter died, just randomly making up a story about how the truck driver was drunk at the time. Is this mental self-subterfuge (super-hyper delusions) how he justifies his illegal laws of pure hatred? His Son died, which is sad, but he is standing on a pile of broken lives and he want his idiot record to make us care about his lies??? Joe Biden just needs to retire to enjoy his fantasies of moral superiority.

  8. @paul.
    Move brother. Come to Az. We are happy to have you! It’s ….no pun intended. … high time either public officials, and all voted In officials start realizing medical marijuana saves lives….. or just move to a more politicaly accepting state. Seriously. They cannot be voted in if there are no constituents left to vote.

    Stand up and liberate your self from simple minded politicians. Your 73 years old. No one has the right to tell you what you can or cannot ingest PERIOD!!!! Alot of truth in Julians post!!!

Leave a Reply