Study: Easing of Cannabis Laws Not Associated with Higher Acceptance or Use by Adolescents

marijuanaA new study published this week in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse has found that the use of cannabis by young adolescents is falling while their disapproval of its use is rising, despite cannabis laws easing in many states.

Using a sample size of over 400,000 individuals between the ages of 12 and 25, researchers found that the percentage of those age 12 to 14 who strongly disapprove of cannabis use rose significantly during the 11 year period between 2002 and 2013. The percentage of those in that age group who report having used cannabis in the past year also fell.

Among those age 15 to 17, cannabis use also fell significantly, with their views on the substance remaining unchanged.

“Our results may suggest that recent changes in public policy, including the decriminalization, medicalization, and legalization of marijuana in cities and states across the country, have not resulted in more use or greater approval of marijuana use among younger adolescents,” says the study’s lead investigator.

When it comes to those aged 18 to 25, less disapproved of cannabis use in 2013 than in 2002, though this didn’t result in a significant rise in cannabis use in that age group.

The full study, conducted by researchers at the University of Texas, can be found by clicking here.


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