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Study: Legalization Hasn’t Increased Teen Pot Use

Study: Legalization Hasn’t Increased Teen Pot Use

A new study published in The Lancet Psychology states that there has been no significant increase in teen marijuana use in the many states that have legalized it medicinally (Wilkerson, 2015). 


According to The Fix, “one of the main arguments against marijuana legalization is that it will drive up underage drug use” (Wilkerson, 2015). The recent study collected data from over one million teenagers from 1991 to 2014 and found that this is certainly not the case. Study coauthor Deborah Hasin stated, “our findings provide the strongest evidence to date that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase after a state legalizes medical marijuana” (Wilkerson, 2015). 


There are currently twenty-one states in the US that have legalized medical marijuana, but interestingly, the findings hold true about states that have legalized recreational marijuana as well. The Fix writer May Wilkerson states that “a 2013 report from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDHE) found that high school marijuana use actually decreased from 22 percent in 2011 to 20 percent in 2013” (2015). Teenage marijuana use has also declined in California. 




Wilkerson, M. (2015). Study finds that legalization does not increase teen pot use. Retrieved from http://www.thefix.com/content/study-finds-legalization-does-not-increase-teen-pot-use