Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Affect Teen Use

Jun 30, 2011 , , , , ,

Today, the Marijuana Policy Project released an updated version of the Teen Use Report, which analyzes all available data from medical marijuana states both before and after passing their medical marijuana laws. The purpose behind this was to find out if permitting patients to use their medicine “sends the wrong message” to teens, as prohibitionists are so quick to claim.

Well, it turns out that it doesn’t. In fact, of the 13 states with available data, teen use rates have stayed the same or decreased since enacting medical marijuana laws. In some cases, these drops in teen use are pretty significant. This is not meant to imply that there is a causal relationship between medical marijuana and a drop in teen use. What the report does show, however, is that there is definitely no causal relationship between medical marijuana and an increase in teen marijuana use.

Not surprisingly, we’ve seen that arresting anyone for marijuana, even teenagers, does nothing to curb adolescent marijuana use. Some parents may be asking right about now, “how do I prevent my teenager from using marijuana?”

According to a study released this week by the University of Washington, the answer is … talk to them!





15 responses to “Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Affect Teen Use”

  1. If teens paid that much attention to politics as to influence them to either try or increase their use of marijuana because their state legalized it’s medicinal use, then Washington wouldn’t have a single grey hair in office.

  2. Your statement “What the report does show, however, is that there is definitely no causal relationship between medical marijuana and an increase in teen marijuana use.” is fallacious.

    Correlation is not causation. Just because there is no correlation between MM laws and teen usage, does not rule out a causal relationship. For all we know, teens in MM states who use marijuana have now obtained a MM recommendation so their use was excluded from the survey.

    Or there could be other over-arching factors which might be leading to a reduction of teen use nationwide. Perhaps there is less reduction in teen use in states where MM is allowed, suggesting the MM does correlate with (relatively) increased teen use. I’m not suggesting this is the case, just providing an example of how such an observed correlation could be misleading.

    Bottom line – please remember that correlation is not causation. It would have been more correct for you to have said “What the report does show, however, is that there is definitely no obvious correlation between medical marijuana and teen marijuana use.” and let the reader commit the logical crime of inferring causation.

  3. I think the majority of readers miss the fact that this whole arguement on Medical Marijuana being linked to teen use IMPLIES that the Medical Marijuana industry can’t regulate it’s product in a safe manner and SOME HOW the medicine will find it’s way into the hands of teens and other none patients. THE POINT of these arguements is meant to discredit the industry of MM. Your being made to chase your tail in a circle and getting no where for all your efforts. What a joke!

  4. human beings do what they want , if parents think they can stop their children from doing what they want ? let them try their best , for if it was so easy to control human beings then the world would not need law and police , its because humans are really animals that we have the military and laws
    still humans will do what they want after all this is their planet and ultimately older generations ideas are going to be left behind with the older generations just like superstitions , the world is not going back its moving forward , those who think they can do anything about it should do whatever they can , for failure does not taste so bad when they tried their best and still could not stop their kids , neighbours , community , the world from doing what it wants , that is the bottom line we will do what we want stop us if you can

  5. also who needs medical marijuana seriously , getting marijuana on the street is much easier , no I.D required , no need to give your name , just pay cash and get what you want
    medical marijuana would make it more difficult to procure marijuana , i am against legalization of marijuana and goverenment control over it , if marijuana becomes legal then getting it would become more difficult as the illegal market would drop and everyone would have to get a prescription and shit , who wants that ?
    the doctors and the government has no right to prescribe it to us or not , it is our decison , lets buy it from the street the way it has been done for years , please vote against legalization to keep the demand and the market and the revolution going ,
    buy it from the street

  6. to “m” med mari. is just a stepping stone the goal is complete legalization… my guess is you are a dealer or grower who doesnt want your market taken out beneath your feet. obviously i dont know this for fact just a guess but there are people who dont like to buy it off the street , going to shady dealers, not knowing whats in the product because face it there are some shady motherfuckers out there who cut it with shit, people want it legal they want to be able to go buy it using an id

  7. To “m”
    like you said The world is moving forward. Policys would just ensure that everyone stays safe and that no one would have any fears of prosocution for posesing any marijuana. And evn if it became legal many people would still buy it off the streets, just most people would prefer to go to a dispensary or store rather than meeting someone off the streets

  8. To “m”

    Another incentive to make it legal is for the opportunity to grow and cultivate your “own” marijuana. If you have the ability to grow your own you know what is in it, how it is grown and its self sufficient. Any way an individual and his or her family can avoid going through the government to get what they want the better.

  9. A prescription of Marijuana would be much safer if a teen where to get their hands on it, than a prescription of say oxycodone or oxycotin… no one has ever died from overdosing on to0 many joints…

    • For the record, MPP does not promote marijuana use, particularly by minors. Studies have shown that while marijuana is a relatively benign substance, heavy use during adolescence could potentially have some negative effects on cognitive development. That being said, no one should ever face criminal penalties for marijuana use or possession.

  10. Hey Mr. Morgan the link for the teenage use report is broken. If you have the chance, could this be fix. I would like to see this study. Thx.

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