Is Recreational Marijuana Helping to Curb Underage Usage 

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Marijuana usage amongst the younger generation has skyrocketed over the past few decades. The legal marijuana market has also helped to make the usage of the substance seem more normalized than ever. With more states in the U.S. legalizing cannabis, it seems as though the marijuana revolution is in full effect. A new study came out recently detailing how the legalization of cannabis on a broad scale has helped to lower the amount of underage use. Based out of Colorado, the study has shown that marijuana use among youth, specifically teenagers, may actually be falling.

What the Study Says

The study shows that where cannabis was legalized, there was an almost 8% drop in the number of high schoolers who reported using the substance. Mark Anderson, who worked on the study stated that “Just to be clear we found no effect on teen use following legalization for medical purposes. But evidence of a possible reduction in use following legalization for recreational purposes. Because our study is based on more policy variation than prior work. There for we view our estimates as the most credible to date in the literature.”

The paper concludes with as many as 1.4 million high schoolers from around the U.S. The study went on to state that “because our study is based on more policy variation than prior work, we view our estimates as the most credible to date in the literature.”

The study is also quite wide in terms of its breadth, following students in a period between 1993 and 2017. The data appears to be quite heavily conclusive. Some studies remain small in their scope but this does not seem to be the case. The study states that “because our study is based on more policy variation than prior work, we view our estimates as the most credible to date in the literature.

What Does This Mean for the Future

Studies like these continue to illustrate how badly we need proper legislation. The study moves on to state “because many recreational marijuana laws have been passed so recently, we do observe limited post-treatment data for some of these states. In a few years, it would make sense to update our estimates as more data becomes available.”

While studies can never be fully conclusive, it appears as though this one is pretty close. We can continue to extrapolate the fact that the marijuana market is falling behind in terms of the laws created. Only time will tell how well new laws can continue to affect the social aspect of the industry. Until that time, all we have to do is wait and see what changes can go into effect. The hopes continue to remain high that legal marijuana is undoubtedly the future. All we can tell at the present time though is that the lessened usage by teens is a good sign that cannabis can be a solid substitute for some other substances we see today.

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