Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Legalizing medical marijuana doesn't increase use among adolescents, study says

Date:
April 23, 2014
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
Parents and physicians concerned about an increase in adolescents' marijuana use following the legalization of medical marijuana can breathe a sigh of relief. According to a new study that compared 20 years worth of data from states with and without medical marijuana laws, legalizing the drug did not lead to increased use among adolescents.

Young cannabis plant. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
Credit: sarra22 / Fotolia

Parents and physicians concerned about an increase in adolescents' marijuana use following the legalization of medical marijuana can breathe a sigh of relief. According to a new study at Rhode Island Hospital which compared 20 years worth of data from states with and without medical marijuana laws, legalizing the drug did not lead to increased use among adolescents. The study is published online in advance of print in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Related Articles


"Any time a state considers legalizing medical marijuana, there are concerns from the public about an increase in drug use among teens," said principal investigator Esther Choo, M.D., an attending physician in the department of emergency medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. "In this study, we examined 20 years worth of data, comparing trends in self-reported adolescent marijuana use between states with medical marijuana laws and neighboring states without the laws, and found no increase in marijuana use that could be attributed to the law."

Choo continued, "This adds to a growing body of literature published over the past three years that is remarkably consistent in demonstrating that state medical marijuana policies do not have a downstream effect on adolescent drug use, as we feared they might."

Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

The study examined a nationally representative sample of high school students. The data showed that past-month marijuana use was common, at nearly 21 percent of the study population. However, there were no statistically significant differences in marijuana use before and after policy changes in any state pairing.

"Researchers should continue to monitor and measure marijuana use," Choo said. "But we hope that this information will provide some level of reassurance to policymakers, physicians, and parents about medical marijuana laws."

Choo's principal affiliation is Rhode Island Hospital, and she also holds an academic appointment as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lifespan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Esther K. Choo, Madeline Benz, Nikolas Zaller, Otis Warren, Kristin L. Rising, K. John McConnell. The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Legislation on Adolescent Marijuana Use. Journal of Adolescent Health, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.02.018

Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Legalizing medical marijuana doesn't increase use among adolescents, study says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102754.htm>.
Lifespan. (2014, April 23). Legalizing medical marijuana doesn't increase use among adolescents, study says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102754.htm
Lifespan. "Legalizing medical marijuana doesn't increase use among adolescents, study says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140423102754.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins