Study: Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Encourage Kids to Smoke More Pot

Study: Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Encourage Kids to Smoke More Pot


Despite warnings from opponents of medical marijuana, legalizing the drug for medical purposes does not encourage teens to smoke more pot, according to new research that compared rates of marijuana use in Massachusetts and Rhode Island after the latter state changed its laws.

Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006. But since Massachusetts did not, Dr. Esther Choo, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, says “We wanted to pair these two states because they have so much in common culturally and geographically.”

Choo’s analysis used data collected from 1997 to 2009 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The analysis involved nearly 13,000 youth in Rhode Island and about 25,000 in Massachusetts. In each state in any given year, the study found, about 30% of youth reported using marijuana at least once in the previous month.

In other words, while marijuana use was common, there was no significant difference in rates of pot use between the years before and after legalization in Rhode Island. “We found no effect of the policy change,” says Choo.

PHOTOS: Inside Colorado’s Marijuana Industry

These results are consistent with a 2005 analysis conducted by Mitch Earleywine, associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York–Albany, for the Marijuana Policy Project. He found that between 1996—when California passed its medical marijuana law— and 2004, previous-month pot use by ninth graders declined by 47%. That was a slightly steeper decline than seen nationally during the same period, and Earleywine found a similar effect in all of the medical marijuana states he studied.

Of the new study, Earleywine says, it is “very careful about potential covariates and looks closely at a couple of states across time in a way that my work didn’t.” He adds: “Of course, I’m delighted to see that their work confirms my previous report that medical marijuana laws do not increase teen use.”

Although legalizing medical marijuana may increase access for some, Choo notes that it is typically a very small population who uses marijuana for therapy — and these aren’t people whom teens are likely to emulate. “Whether they are taking it for pain or for vomiting control or appetite, this is not a group we think of as super-inspiring for young people to take up their drug pattern. It’s an older population who is generally very ill,” says Choo.

PHOTOS: Stoner Cinema: Pot Movie Classics

It’s important to note that neither Choo’s nor Earleywine’s analyses have been subjected to peer review. Choo’s work was presented on Wednesday at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. She is planning to do further analysis, including data from additional states, for future publication.

But both studies are consistent with state and international data showing similar trends. Research has found that rates of youth drug use don’t correlate with marijuana arrests or, at the other end of the spectrum, total decriminalization of marijuana possession.

Could it be possible that associating pot with uncool old people and making it legitimate, rather than rebellious, actually deters use by youth?

 

Original Article :: TIME.com

Author :: Maia Szalavitz [... Health writer at TIME.com ...]

 

Disclaimer: These opinions and statements made in these posts are solely the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinion of 420 Petition and its parent company.

~* The Rainbow Reefer

 

 



9 Responsesto “Study: Legal Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Encourage Kids to Smoke More Pot”

  1. rusty miller says:

    ya kno thats just a tactic that the narrow minded people use to hold everything up. i know when i was younger i could get a sack of weed easier that i could get ciggs or beer. im just sayin it would be much harder to get if marijuana if it were legalized. congress needs to wake up and stop pussy footing around its all BS!

  2. I simply couldn’t go away your web site prior to suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard information a person provide in your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently to check out new posts

  3. About Nursing Licensed Practical Nurses are commonly known as LVNs Licensed Vocational Nurses in Texas & California, as RPNs Registered Practical Nurses in Ontario, Canada. They are also known as ENs Enrolled Nurses in countries like New Zealand & Australia along with SENs State Enrolled Nurses in the United Kingdom.

  4. I agree 100%, hopefully more people view this,’liked’.

  5. [...] be better to legalize marijuana outright, then regulate its production, sale, and distribution. Dust up. To date, almost 30,000 certifications have been issued. Judge O’Connell’s 30-page [...]

  6. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it. This website has got some really useful info on it! I was looking for this. It was excellent and very informative. As a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed and I found a lot of informative stuff in your article. Thanks for posting. PLEASE keep it up!

  7. mobile games says:

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching
    for mobile games

  8. Right now it sounds like Drupal is the top blogging platform out there right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on
    your blog?

    Look into my web-site :: download brick mansions

  9. Just want to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clearness in your post is just spectacular
    and that i could suppose you are a professional on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with drawing close post.
    Thanks one million and please continue the enjoyable work.

    Here is my web-site: unlimited diamonds on my singing monsters

  10. oldnavy com says:

    certainly like your web-site but you need to take a look at the spelling
    on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling
    issues and I find it very bothersome to inform the truth then again I’ll certainly come
    again again.

Leave a Reply