In reference to new research conducted by the RAND Corporation, kids who are privy to medical marijuana advertisement are more likely to use cannabis in the future. One typical worry among those hesitant to legalize cannabis is the question of what effect it potentially could have on the younger generation and this research has only stoked the fires of fear.

Published in the online journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, the research looked at 8,214 Southern California middle school kids that are in grade 6 through 8 from the year 2010 to 2011. Researchers asked kids in various forms of questions, involving questions about how often they have seen medical marijuana advertisement.

They discovered a major connection between children who had been exposed to advertisement promoted by medical marijuana companies with the intention of using marijuana in the future. Studies have shown that between the two years, the number of kids exposed to medical marijuana promotions went up from 22% to 30%.

However, researchers confess they cannot identify a definitive connection between medical marijuana advertisements and children who use pot, head researcher Elizabeth D’ Amico stated the results raise some interesting questions.

“As prohibitions on marijuana ease and sales of marijuana become more visible, it’s important to think about how we need to change the way we talk to young people about the risks posed by the drug,” D’Amico said. “The lessons we have learned from alcohol — a substance that is legal, but not necessarily safe — may provide guidance about approaches we need to take toward marijuana.”

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