A new study published The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse has found that teens are using marijuana less frequently and are less attracted to it now that it is decriminalized or legalized at the state level.
The data challenges many assumptions about how changing cannabis laws may impact children.
Opponents of legalization often tout scientifically unsupported notions about teen marijuana use. […]
The study, conducted by the University of Texas at Austin, looked at data spanning from 2002 to 2013 in the federal National Home Survey on Drug Use and Health. They found that younger teens aged 12- to 14-years-old showed an impressive 25 percent decline in cannabis use from 6 percent in 2002 to 4.5 percent in 2013.
Older teens aged 15- to 17-years-old also showed a significant decline in use from 26 percent in 2002 down to 22 percent in 2013. […]
“These findings belie the myth that society must perpetuate a policy of criminalization and exaggeration in order to dissuade young people from experimenting with cannabis,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML and the co-author of the book Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? “It makes no sense from a public health perspective, a fiscal perspective or a moral perspective to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is objectively safer than either alcohol, tobacco, or many of the prescription drugs it could replace.” […]
Lying to kids has also been a very bad move. In 2009, the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania found that government funded anti-marijuana ads (remember the old eggs-in-the-frying-pan commercials?) actually made teens more likely to want to try a toke.
I guess when Grandpa’s smoking a bowl on the front porch, it’s less of a draw for the kiddies.