California: No Uptick in Frequency of Marijuana Use by Young Adults Following Adult-Use Legalization

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The enactment of adult-use marijuana legalization in California is not associated with any increase in the frequency of marijuana use by young adults, according to data published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Researchers affiliated with the University of California at San Diego examined marijuana use patterns among a cohort of 563 young adults (ages 18 to 24) in California in the years immediately prior to and immediately following the enactment of adults-use legalization. Authors reported, “Contrary to our expectations, frequency of marijuana use did not change significantly after legalization and was stable throughout three years of observation.”

They concluded, “In examining marijuana use before and after legalization of recreational sales in California, we found that frequency of use did not change significantly overall, including following legalization.”

An abstract of the study, “Post legalization changes in marijuana use in a sample of young California adults,” appears online here. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Regulation and Teen Use Rates.”