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Legalized Medical Marijuana Doesn't Increase Teen Usage, Study Finds
One of the biggest worries about legalized medical marijuana was that teenagers would smoke more pot, but it turns out those fears were wrong. A study just published in The Lancet Psychiatry showed no significant difference in adolescent marijuana use in the 21 states with medical marijuana laws.
This exhaustive study using over 24 years of data from over a million teenagers in 48 states found no evidence that legalized medical marijuana led to teenagers using pot more. Deborah Hasin, Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, reviewed data on teenagers between the ages of 13-18 and during the years 1991-2014. “Our findings provide the strongest evidence to date that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase after a state legalizes medical marijuana. Rather, up to now, in the states that passed medical marijuana laws, adolescent marijuana use was already higher than in other states. Because early adolescent use of marijuana can lead to many long term harmful outcomes, identifying the factors that actually play a role in adolescent use should be a high priority,” said Dr. Hasin.
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