Study Says It’s Easier For Teens To Buy Marijuana Than Beer

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 28, 2009

    It’s that time of year — time for one of America’s leading prohibitionist organizations, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (aka CASA), to once again report that seven-plus decades of criminal pot prohibition have resulted in making cannabis more readily available to teens than alcohol!

    Study Says It’s Easier For Teens To Buy Marijuana Than Beer
    via KPVI News 6

    A recent study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has some startling results about teens and drugs.

    In their study, they found that 40 percent of teens could get marijuana within a day; another quarter said they could get it within an hour. In another portion of the survey, teens between the ages of 12 and 17 say it’s easier to get marijuana than buy cigarettes**, beer or prescription drugs. That number is up 37 percent from 2007.

    [**Note: The CASA study actually reported that teens could more readily access pot than beer or prescription drugs; the percentage of teens reporting that either marijuana or cigarettes were the “easiest to buy” were equal (26 percent) — got to love the mainstream media’s dedication to accuracy in reporting. That said, the percentage of Americans actually smoking cigarettes is now at an all-time low.]

    Ask any advocate of marijuana prohibition, including CASA’s head Joseph ‘Russian Roulette’ Califano, why they oppose legalization and you will almost always receive the same response: Keeping pot illegal keeps it out of the hands of children. Yet CASA’s own survey demonstrates once again that just the opposite is true. In fact, it’s legalization, regulation, and public education — coupled with the enforcement of age restrictions — that most effectively keeps mind-altering substances out of the hands of children.

    Abdicating the production and distribution of pot solely to black market criminal entrepreneurs increases, rather than decreases, teens’ access to cannabis.

    In short, no system could possibly provide America’s children with greater access to weed than the one we have: prohibition. Now when will our elected officials get the message?

    125 Responses to “Study Says It’s Easier For Teens To Buy Marijuana Than Beer”

    1. Jerry Moler says:

      This guy doesn’t pay attention to his own data! If you believe that cannabis is bad for people under a certain age then regulate it so you can actually have some control. I’m using this data in my next letter to our elected officials. If you support prohibition then you support the drug cartels and criminal businesses that sell all kinds of substances to anyone that has money. You also provide the means to smuggle people across the Mexican boarder. You are also supporting the Mexicans war against it’s own people (oh by the way the violence is now in the US). When the MSM starts a body count of those Americans killed in this struggle it will start waking up a lot of people that are unaware of what is happening.

    2. Jon says:

      Hey Paul,

      What’s interesting to me is that not only does prohibition make it easier for kids to access cannabis, but it also makes it that much easier for kids to get off without much trouble – get arrested with weed as a minor, and you get a slap on the wrist. Get arrested with weed as an adult and you’re facing a barrage of serious consequences – why wouldn’t kids do as much school yard dealing as they can before they turn 18?


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    4. CKDK29 says:

      It suks i cant go to tht convention, but iam looking forward to seeing the outcome of the convention in general as in whats after tht could it b decriminalization ? Something tells me so.Ijus hav that feeling.

    5. Ed says:

      I find this to be one of the stronger arguments in the pro-legalization argument, especially since it’s not only unexpected, but undermines one of the arguments made by the prohibitionists.

      On another note, though, I don’t think this will influence too many people one way or another to be honest.

      Hopefully this will convince a good number of people to our side.

    6. Mike Goldman says:

      Well, at least cannabis *is* a safer choice than beer…but clearly cannabis prohibition is counterproductive altogether.

    7. Anon says:

      This isn’t news…studies have been saying this for a long time.

    8. pedro says:

      It’s true, in my high school I can get it in every class.. the gym, cafeteria… down every block. No ID required =)

    9. BoxofKryonz says:

      I would like to encourage readers (and the editor) that clicking links within the stories would help spread the message. You don’t NEED to read their propaganda, just a visit to say you were there. Site popularity (page ranking) is partially based on traffic. Where it comes from and where it goes. Also, keep an eye on your cookies (not those cookies).

      Also, maybe with any luck, when the opposition looks to see where their site visitors are coming from. They will read the story about them and learn where they are wrong.

    10. Buc says:

      This is actually good news.

      More people to rally to the cause since it’s easier for them to get.

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