Legal Pot Doesn’t Seem To Increase Teen Use or Addiction
Opponents of marijuana legalization frequently warn that it will lead to rampant cannabis consumption by teenagers. But two studies published in November found that legalization has not been associated with increases in adolescent marijuana use or addiction. In fact, there is some evidence that both decline when pot prohibition is repealed for adults.
Boston College psychologist Rebekah Levine Coley and four other researchers looked at trends in marijuana use among teenagers in 47 states, as measured by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, from 1999 to 2017. During that period, eight states and the District of Columbia legalized recreational marijuana use by adults 21 or older.
“We found no evidence that [recreational legalization] was associated with increased likelihood or level of marijuana use among adolescents,” Coley and her colleagues reported in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “Rather, among adolescents who rep
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