The legalisation of marijuana for medical use has been found to have no significant link to the rise in US teen’s use of the drug in several states over the past 20 years.
A comparison of annual surveys of marijuana use in adolescents by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed that the probability of a high schooler having used cannabis in the last 30 days was no more than 0.8% higher in legal states compared to states that had not approved medical marijuana.
Researchers D. Mark Anderson of Montana State University, Daniel Rees of the University of Colorado and Benjamin Hansen of the University of Oregon explained “Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalisation of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students”.
Marijuana use for medicinal purposes is legal in 21 states in the US for the treatment of a variety of diseases, while it has been deemed legal in Washington and Colorado for recreational use.
In addition, two states, Alaska and Oregon, will vote later this year regarding the legalisation of the drug for recreational use.
Marijuana still remains illegal under federal law.
Opponents of legalisation feel that by legalising marijuana, teens would have greater access to the drug.
According to a survey investigating drug use among teens and conducted by Monitoring the Future, 36% of high school seniors admitted to using cannabis in the last year, while 6.5% say they use it almost every day. In spite of these figures, no significant link can be drawn between the use of marajuana occurring more in states that have legalised the drug as opposed to those where it remains illegal.
The study provides some good news for patients in the 29 states in the US as well as those in countries world-wide, who do not have legal access to medical marijuana and are rallying for its legal inception.
For a drug that has been found to benefit patients without resulting in the myriad of side-effects often experienced with other treatments, the research reveals that states who haven’t legalised marijuana for medical use are doing more harm than good.
Where you live should not determine if you live.