New Study Suggests Legalizing Pot Has Reduced Use by Minors

One of the most powerful arguments for not legalizing pot for medical or recreational use has been that it would lead to expanded use by minors. Studies have shown that marijuana abuse by adolescents can lead to "long-lasting changes in brain function that adversely affect educational, professional, and social outcomes." However, several studies published in 2018 suggested that there was no evidence of increased usage by teens in states that legalized pot for medical purposes. The relationship between recreational use legalization and adolescent abuse was murkier.

In a new study published in the journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA], researchers found that recreational use legalization actually led to reduced use by teens.

The reason may be that street dealers are replaced by licensed pot stores that require proof of age.

JAMA: "Consistent with the results of previous researchers, there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the Table showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes. This latter result is consistent with findings by Dilley et al and with the argument that it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age." [Some cite numbering removed]

There are at least a dozen more states considering pot legalization and this study undermines one of the strongest arguments opponents have had against such measures.

#pot #news #research

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