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Study: More Lenient Marijuana Laws Not Associated With Higher Odds Of Youth Use

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Teen Marijuana Use

Kent, United Kingdom: Changes in the legal status of marijuana are not associated with an increased likelihood that more adolescents will consume it, according data published in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

A University of Kent professor of sociology and social research analyzed three separate waves of global marijuana use data from 38 countries over a period of nine years. The author reported, "[D]ata do not reveal a statistically significant association between policy 'liberalization' and higher odds of increased cannabis use."

The findings are consistent with those of several prior studies finding that changes in marijuana's legal status in jurisdictions in the United States is not associated with upticks in either teens' use of cannabis or access to it.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Is policy 'liberalization' associated with higher odds of adolescent cannabis use? A re-analysis of data from 38 countries," appears in the International Journal of Drug Policy. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, "Marijuana Regulation and Teen Use Rates."