Legal marijuana doesn’t increase teen use

Adelaide [AAP]

Legalising medical marijuana doesn’t increase cannabis use among adolescents.

New research, which analysed data from 1991 to 2014 from more than one million American adolescents, showed no significant difference in the drug’s use in 21 states with medical marijuana laws before or after they were introduced.

The authors of the study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, said such laws were controversial and raised concerns about increased accessibility and acceptability of marijuana to teenagers.

Adolescent use of marijuana is associated with adverse later effects, so identifying factors underlying their use is of substantial public health importance, say the authors.

In Australia, the NSW government on the weekend announced plans to build a $12 million medicinal cannabis research centre as it presses ahead with clinical trials.

And on Friday, it was revealed that Barry and Jo Lambert were donating $33.7 million to the University of Sydney for research into the medicinal applications of cannabis.

The study’s leader author, Dr Deborah Hasin from New York’s Columbia University Medical Centre, said some commentators suggested the medical marijuana laws sent a message to adolescents that the drug’s general use is acceptable.

The findings showed that although marijuana use in the previous 30 days was more prevalent in states that enacted medical marijuana laws than those that did not, rates of adolescent marijuana use did not increase after these laws were introduced.

‘Our findings provide the strongest evidence to date that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase after a state legalises medical marijuana,’ she said.

2 responses to “Legal marijuana doesn’t increase teen use”

  1. Jared L says:

    When will we catch up with the rest of the world? We should be talking about legalising recreational cannabis, not just medicinal. The amount of tax revenue it would create would be amazing and also more jobs would be created.

    The problem with making all these other drugs illegal is that people know that some of them aren’t as harmful or dangerous as two of the legal ones, alcohol and cannabis and people will continue to use drugs like weed, lsd, meth and mdma because they know what to expect, the problem is they can sometimes get tainted product because prohibition can created such a huge, lucrative market for the production, distribution and sale of illegal drugs.

    Much better off starting by making weed totally legal to anyone over 18, then making all drug use and minor possession a health concern and not a criminal concern at all. Then go on to sell certain drugs legally via chemists and made by pharmaceutical companies.

    • Jerry Cook says:

      Some good points, thanks Jared..and for legal but dangerous drugs you must mean alcohol and tobacco, true killers, while “weed” cannot kill from direct use, very different to all the rest, including BIG pHARMa products that also kill huge numbers of people every year, legal or illegal.

      Also, there is no need to have BIG pHARMa control, for their profits, synthetic copies of components that don’t work well due to the “entourage” or synergy of a natural plant needed to get full value.

      They cannot equal the natural plant that anyone can grow or strain varieties for specific use developed without their control already.

      The plant has many benefits, as a natural medicine, food, & fibre. it should be seen as normal for all use, without the old lies stigma, ignorance, or bought off to opposition profits (banks/cartels money laundering, BIG pHARMa, alcohol, tobacco, profit prisons, police badly used for the Injustice system, and opposing fibre makers).

      The main concern with this plant is to personally control with targeted use..the same as with most things, and thats better done above ground as shown overseas.

      Getting expert dispensaries up and running for sales would end a lot of problems and help everyone, including govt finance through tax similar to all biz. Or get educated and grow your own tomatoes! If you cannot grow your own for any reason, there should be dispensaries with expert knowledge of strains and uses. That would also help inform growing your own to best use. It would also create responsible jobs.

      Why keep hurting and killing people for opposition profits under a very stupid prohibition, when the laws should be to help people instead?

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