Study Finds Decreased Teen Use of Marijuana in States With Medical Marijuana Laws
Marijuana use rates among teenagers have declined in California and nine other states that approved medical marijuana laws over the past decade, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Marijuana Policy Project, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In California, marijuana usage among ninth-grade students decreased by 47% since 1996, when state voters approved Proposition 215 to legalize the use of marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Nationwide, marijuana usage among eighth-grade students has decreased by 43% over the same period.
Based on data from national and state surveys, study authors Mitch Earleywine, a psychology professor at the State University of New York, and Karen O'Keefe, a legislative analyst with Marijuana Policy Project, concluded that the information "strongly" suggests medical marijuana laws have not increased recreational use of marijuana among adolescents.
The authors say that the decline fin marijuana usage in many states with medical marijuana laws is "slightly more favorable" than trends nationwide.
Tom Riley, spokesperson for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said the drop in teen drug use across the country can be attributed to federal anti-drug advertising campaigns in recent years, including the $125 million spent during this fiscal year (Bailey, Los Angeles Times, 9/7).