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Study: No Increase In Problematic Cannabis Use By Young People Following Changes In Marijuana’s Legal Status

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 11, 2017

    no_marijuanaYet another study has once again affirmed that the regulation of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes is not associated with increases in problematic cannabis use by young people.

    Writing in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, federal investigators from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration evaluated marijuana use rates among young people (ages 12 to 17) between the years 2002 and 2014.

    Researchers reported that the prevalence of past-year cannabis use by youth fell 17 percent during this time period. The prevalence of problematic use by young people fell by 25 percent – with a downward trend starting in 2011.

    “In the United States, compared to 2002, even after adjusting for covariates, cannabis use decreased among youth during 2005-2014, and cannabis use disorder declined among youth cannabis users during 2013-2014,” authors concluded.

    The study’s findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting no uptick in youth marijuana use or abuse following the enactment of marijuana regulation, including those here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

    An abstract of the study, “Cannabis use and cannabis use disorders in the United States, 2002-2014,” appears online here.

    8 Responses to “Study: No Increase In Problematic Cannabis Use By Young People Following Changes In Marijuana’s Legal Status”

    1. Mark Mitcham says:

      Tempest in a teapot.
      Or sunny skies in a teapot, in this case, as it turns out. Well, fine, then!

      Still trying to figure out what cannabis abuse disorder is, not sure that’s even a thing…

      I wonder: When studying so-called “cannabis use disorder,” did the researchers control for “reefer madness” bias, or as it’s called these days, “alternative facts?”

      In any case, the kids are safe! Good to know.

      [Paul Armentano responds: I agree that there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of what some researchers describe as ‘cannabis use disorder’ and how they define it. I address some of these issues (and there’s plenty more) here: http://reset.me/story/has-the-rate-of-u-s-marijuana-use-really-doubled/.

      • Julian says:

        I still think we should publish a peer reviewed study on Prohibition Use Disorders. PUDS is a global epidemic and the cure is marijuana reform!

    2. Julian says:

      “Here, here, here and here…!” (Haha!)
      That many study-arrows has GOTTA start hurting in what is left of Kevin Sabet’s soul…

      Between this study and alcohol v. marijuana does this mean teenagers in Vegas will start making smarter choices?

    3. mexweed says:

      The bad news, I think, is that the ongrowth of sneak “drug’ testing has added a layer of fear to the lives of millions of teens making smart choices prohibitive.

    4. Tb says:

      Of course parents are not like law enforcement.
      Parents want to create a safe environment to distribute narcotics to their children instead of them getting it illegal on the street.
      So legal pot just means children have an easier more legal source of marijuana with less problems or legal problems.
      Therefore legal problems have been reduced. They’re getting it in the home.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Tb,
        Actually, cannabis is not a narcotic. So don’t get your panties in a bunch.

        And, in case you don’t remember, parents don’t give drugs to teenagers — young teenagers steal drugs from their parents liquor cabinet and medicine cabinet. Older teenagers buy it from their peers. Don’t you remember?

        Thank god cannabis is safe! It isn’t going to hurt anybody.

    5. Julian says:

      Great article, btw, Paul in Alternet:

      http://www.alternet.org/drugs/blowing-lid-marijuana-treatment-racket?akid=15871.2366751.gRr_eV&rd=1&src=newsletter1079747&t=17

      More teens with no deleterious mentall illness going to rehab while veterans with PTSD who risked their lives for fabricated drug wars for private defense contractors in the opiate-military-complex die waiting for anything that resembles treatment from the VA.

      And yet Montana goes and votes another prohibitionist into Congress, and people keep watching Fox and Friends. I would say its impossible for that many Americans to be this stupid but then I was watching cable “news” at a hotel last night (cable of which I choose not to infect my home) …and I was quickly reminded of what happened to America’s vanishing IQ and dwindling mental health.

    6. Victor says:

      Not surprising. Also, comical the way you iterated the fact that this study’s findings are easily corroborated by the findings of various prior studies: “The study’s findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting no uptick in youth marijuana use or abuse following the enactment of marijuana regulation, including those here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.” Particularly, the whole “here, here, here,” part lol. Well said.

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