Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Legal Marijuana Tied to Decline in Youth Usage, Study Finds


From The Shepherd Express:

“Marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes,” the most recent study on the subject concludes. Laws that legalize recreational marijuana are typically followed by an 8% drop in reported recent marijuana use and a 9% decrease in the odds of frequent marijuana use among high schoolers. The same correlation couldn’t be observed in states where only medical marijuana is available.
The study, published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, July 8, was authored by economists from the state universities of Montana, Oregon, Colorado and California.
“Policy makers are particularly concerned that legalization for either medicinal or recreational purposes will encourage marijuana use among youth,” the study says. This is a widespread fear; a majority of opponents of cannabis legalization fear that legal weed will lead to increased consumption by the young and impressionable. It would appear that the exact opposite is true.
Previous research on the subject showed that the link between cannabis legalization and rates of use is complex. Two distinct studies, in February 2017 then December 2018, reached opposite conclusions using different sources of data; both studies looked into cannabis use among eighth and tenth graders in Washington state, but one claims that usage rose slightly while the other estimates it fell. To avoid such biases, the most recent study used data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Because our study is based on more policy variation than prior work, we view our estimates as the most credible to date in the literature,” Mark Anderson, associate professor at Montana State University, told CNN. Unlike many other past studies, which were limited to one state, his work includes the entire country with data on about 1.4 million high school students.
Other research, for instance in the American Law and Economics Review or led by the Colorado state government, seems in line with Anderson’s results.

Read more: https://shepherdexpress.com/hemp/cannabis/legal-marijuana-tied-to-decline-in-youth-usage-study-finds/?utm_source=Cannabis+Connection+Newsletter+7.22.2019&utm_campaign=Dining_Newsletter_7_22_2019&utm_medium=email

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