March 29, 2021

Study Demonstrates There is No Evidence Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Underage Consumption

March 29, 2021
Picture of teenager and cannabis plant; a recent study demonstrates no link between the legalization of medical cannabis and teen pot consumption.

While advocates and pot enthusiasts have worked for years to legalize marijuana, those with opposing viewpoints have often fallen back on the rally cry of, “What about the children?”

Although it is a hard argument to dismiss, recent studies have shown that states with medical marijuana laws (MML) do not evidence a rise in cannabis use among youth. These findings should not come as a total surprise. Despite the criticisms and counter arguments espoused by anti-marijuana legalization campaigns, it’s not as if youth were ever given the green light to light up, so to speak. Each state has had to address the issue of marijuana legalization and how to ensure those under the allowed age are being discouraged from consuming marijuana products.

In the meantime, a group of individuals from top universities and a state marijuana control commission, partnered to conduct a study that tracked information for more than one million teens across a 25-year span. The data, published in the journal, Substance Abuse, outlines the study and its conclusions that there is not a rise in cannabis use within those states studied with medical marijuana laws.

Conclusions of the Youth Cannabis Use Study Draw Upon Nearly 25 Years of Reporting Data

The study reads, “Conclusions: This study found no evidence between 1991 and 2015 of increases in adolescents reporting past 30-day marijuana use or heavy marijuana use associated with state MML enactment or operational MML dispensaries. In a constantly evolving marijuana policy landscape, continued monitoring of adolescent marijuana use is important for assessing policy effects.”

This information confirms what other studies have cited as well, including ‘Trends in youth cannabis use across cannabis legalization: Data from the COMPASS prospective cohort study’. This Canadian study was published in Preventive Medicine Reports, and lists similar conclusions.

Currently, it is not evidenced that states having medical marijuana laws are at higher risk of youth using cannabis than those states without. We hope this trend continues and expect that qualified professionals will continue to monitor and report as our nation’s cannabis industry grows.

Additional Resources:

At The Weed Blog, we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis or other edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis tax revenue:

States Ranked by Recreational Marijuana Tax Revenue

Crime Is Down and Tax Revenue Is up in Denver after Cannabis Legalization

Marijuana Tax Revenue Surpasses Alcohol Tax Revenue in Colorado


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