Sunday, May 26, 2024

Legal Cannabis And Adolescent Use

With the DEA considering rescheduling marijuana to be more like ibuprofen.  Opponents bring up kid use…but is it fair?

The Biden administration has finally asked for cannabis to be considering for rescheduling.  The industry has been a boon for states, veterans, patients, and everyday citizens who just want to relax.  But the old argument of if you legalize it, youth use will skyrocket is being paraded out.  But what are the facts about legal cannabis and adolescent use?

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality Of Life

No one in the industry promotes youth use.  Product companies, dispensaries and farms are very focused on the adult market. There are no cartoon camels shilling joints to the under 18 crowd. The industry recognizes until the age of 21, the brain is still developing and use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana can have an impact.  Also, cannabis has clear medical benefits including help with chronic pain, seizures, cancer and more. Alcohol, which is clearly available, has no medical benefits and is much more harmful.

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Photo by Javi Julio Photography/Getty Images

States have been watching how this works and have enacted marketing regulations and regionalized data information.. While more work needs to be done, there are studies who say if you have legal weed and adolescent use usually. declines it is on par with data collected.

In addition, Gen Z is drifting away from alcohol to a more California lifestyle. This does not mean they do not use alcohol or marijuana at all, rather it means it isn’t increasing. A study from UC Davis says 16-18 year old use is about 30% compared to alcohol at 32%.

In fact  the Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary & Trends Report found the percentage of high-schoolers who report having used cannabis over the past 30 days fell from 23 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2021. The decline was more pronounced among males than females.

One study, published in the journal Substance Abuse, researchers from Harvard University, John Hopkins and the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reviewed data from 46 states collected over a 24-year period.

The study found that there is no evidence that suggests medical marijuana programs resulted in more cannabis consumption in teens. Overall, states with legal medical marijuana had fewer instances of teens consuming cannabis.

RELATED: Washington Teens Used Less Marijuana Following Legalization

“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 [medical marijuana law] enactment or operational MML dispensaries,” cited researchers.

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