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Breaking News: Medicinal Cannabis Laws Have No Discernable Adverse Impact On Adolescents’ Pot Use

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 8, 2012

    [Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.]

    The enactment of state laws allowing for the limited legal use of cannabis by qualified patients has little to no causal effect on broader marijuana use, according to data published online in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

    Investigators at McGill University in Montreal obtained state-level estimates of marijuana use from the 2002 through 2009 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Researchers used difference-in-differences regression models to estimate the causal effect of medical cannabis laws on marijuana use, and simulations to account for measurement error.

    Authors reported: “Difference-in-differences estimates suggested that passing MMLs (medical marijuana laws) decreased past-month use among adolescents … and had no discernible effect on the perceived riskiness of monthly use. … [These] estimates suggest that reported adolescent marijuana use may actually decrease following the passing of medical marijuana laws.”

    They concluded, “We find limited evidence of causal effects of medical marijuana laws on measures of reported marijuana use.”

    Previous investigations by researcher teams at Brown University in 2011 and Texas A&M in 2007 made similar determinations, concluding, “[C]onsistent with other studies of the liberalization of cannabis laws, medical cannabis laws do not appear to increase use of the drug.”

    The findings are in direct conflict with public statements made by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, who in recent years has frequently alleged that the passage of medical cannabis laws is directly responsible for higher levels of self-reported marijuana consumption among US teenagers.

    Full text of the study, “Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Marijuana Use? Replication Study and Extension,” can be read online here.

    37 Responses to “Breaking News: Medicinal Cannabis Laws Have No Discernable Adverse Impact On Adolescents’ Pot Use”

    1. […] Breaking News: Medicinal Cannabis Laws Have ‘No Discernable Affect’ On Adolescents’ Pot Use [Editor's note: This post is excerpted from this week's forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML's news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The enactment of state laws allowing for the limited legal use of cannabis by qualified patients has little to no causal effect on broader marijuana use, according to data published online in the journal Annals of Epidemiology. Investigators at McGill University in Montreal obtained state-level estimates of marijuana use from the 2002 through 2009 US National Survey on Drug Use […] […]

    2. Ace says:

      Allowed to have booze but not pot? WTF? how many i supposed to use my shi7 from http://www.420mercantile.com and http://www.420pokers.com???

    3. moldy says:

      That pretty much leaves the only concern these prohibitionist bastards can come up with… stoned driving. But we all know these latest facts will not change the minds of these backward doche bags. One more brick removed from the wall of misinformation though.

    4. Matthew Meyer says:

      That’s “discernible effect,” please correct your headline, it gives stoners a bad name.

      Paul Armentano responds: From the study: “Difference- in-differences estimates suggested that passing medical marijuana laws decreased past-month use among adolescents by 0.6 percent- age points (95% CI: 0.1-1.1) and had no discernible affect on the perceived riskiness of monthly use. Models incorporating measurement error in the state estimates of marijuana use yielded little evidence that passing medical marijuana laws affects marijuana use.” Nevertheless, I will amend the headline to avoid confusion.

    5. wash-voter says:

      Maybe the teen use is going down due to the fact that, in states with medical access, the parents no longer need to get product through their 13 year-old at middle school.
      Proof will be forthcoming as the feds peeing on our trees and tearing down our sand castles will reveal a reverse in that trend. I am being forced back to the old black market again, due to them closing legitimate access points for adults.

    6. fishcreekbob says:

      Wow Who would of thunk it. Gil lied.

    7. Cat Cassie says:

      Everyone knew Kerlikowske was lying. How can we believe anything he says now?

    8. chrisvv says:

      You’re right, but I help make the rules, so cannabis is illegal.

      – Gil K

    9. Joe says:

      Gosh, you’d think that the government would have a good reason to keep pot illegal if you just listen to their propaganda, but really it’s all about who’s paying them to say what. Big Pharma, Uncle Sam wants you to take your medicine and stay out of people’s liberty.

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