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.

"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 October 22, 2014 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
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