San Diego, CA: The establishment of medical cannabis dispensaries within close proximity of schools does not make teens more susceptible to using marijuana, according to data published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Researchers from UC San Diego examined the association between the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries in school neighborhoods and teen use patterns in California. They reported: “The distance from school to the nearest medical marijuana dispensary was not associated with adolescents’ use of marijuana in the past month or susceptibility to use marijuana in the future, nor was the weighted count of medical marijuana dispensaries within the 3-mile band of school. Neither the product price nor the product variety in the dispensary nearest to school was associated with marijuana use or susceptibility to use. The results were robust to different specifications of medical marijuana measures.”
Authors concluded, “We did not find empirical support of the associations of medical marijuana availability, price, and product variety around schools with adolescents’ marijuana use and susceptibility to use … in the future.”
The paper’s findings are consistent with prior studies finding that the prevalence of cannabis retailers is not positively associated with increases in either teen marijuana use or access.