One of the primary arguments used against legalizing cannabis is that it will become more easily accessible to children. A new study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), however, paints a different picture.
According to the study conducted by researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the CDC, the percentage of children aged 12 to 17 who say that cannabis is “fairly easy or very easy to obtain” fell significantly from 2002, to 2014 – a 13% drop in total.
“[S]ince 2002, the prevalence of marijuana use and initiation among U.S. youth has declined”, states the study. This is despite the fact that since 2002, numerous states have legalized medical cannabis, and four states have legalized cannabis for all uses.
The study notes that among adults, there is “steady decreases in the prevalence of marijuana dependence and abuse among adult marijuana users since 2002,” despite cannabis use being up slightly.
The full study can be read by clicking here.
The results of the study are in line with an analysis by the CDC released in June which found that since 1995, cannabis usage rates are down among teenagers.
A study published last year in the journal Lancet Psychiatry came to a similar conclusion, finding that legalizing medical cannabis doesn’t increase youth usage rates.