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Marijuana Legalization Didn’t Increase Teen Use: Study Finds

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A federally funded study has found no correlation between marijuana legalization and cannabis use among teens, which is relief for marijuana enthusiasts. At the same time, this study which was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has poked holes on the theory that's often fronted by legalization opponents- legalization will increase teen consumption of marijuana. Currently, adult-use marijuana is legal in 21 states and DC. Maryland and Missouri joined this list through the midterm elections that happened barely a month ago. 

The study reviewed data collected from three longitudinal studies relating to use of cannabis among teens in New York, Oregon, and Washington between 1999 to 2021. Marijuana is legal in all three states; Washington- 2012, Oregon- 2014, and New York 2021. The researchers found that teens in states that have legalized cannabis are not any more likely to abuse cannabis than teens in states that have not legalized cannabis. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine earlier this month. 

Though preliminary, the results from this study offer a glimmer of hope that marijuana legalization could have more benefits than harms to offer. The author of the study, Jennifer Bailey, has however advised cautious optimism. “Although things look encouraging now, as we note in our paper, alcohol use increased slowly over 40 years after the end of alcohol prohibition,” said Bailey.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.