Study: Prevalence Of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Not Influencing Current Youth Use Patterns

San Diego, CA: The availability of medical marijuana dispensaries is not positively associated with an increase in the number of adolescents currently using cannabis, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Preventive Medicine.

An investigator at the University of California, San Diego assessed the association between marijuana dispensaries and cannabis use habits among young people residing within a 25-mile radius. The author reported that adolescents’ proximity to dispensaries did not influence their current marijuana use habits.

The study concluded: “[W]e did not find empirical evidence showing the availability of medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with [the] current use of marijuana among adolescents. … It is also suggestive that the dispensaries may not have spillover effects on neighborhood social norms or marijuana availability overall.”

Numerous prior studies have failed to associate changes in the legal status of medical cannabis with any causal upticks in youth marijuana use.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, “The availability of medical marijuana dispensaries and adolescent marijuana use,” appears in Preventive Medicine.