One of the biggest arguments of the anti-legalization crowd is that kids will eventually get their hands on marijuana if we make it easier to obtain.

A new study published in Lancet Psychiatry, however, concludes this hasn’t been the case so far.

Researchers looked at 24 years of data from the Monitoring the Future adolescent drug survey and picked out numbers from as many as 23 states that have so far legalized medical pot.

The clear conclusion, according to a summary, is:

Passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana.

However, researchers noted that “marijuana use was more prevalent in states that passed a medical marijuana law.”

They also found that “the risk of marijuana use in states before passing medical marijuana laws did not differ significantly from the risk after medical marijuana laws were passed.”

This seems to suggest that medical states had already seen more marijuana use before legalizing it.

And then there’s this: Anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is hyping another study that concludes the opposite, that “medical marijuana laws amplify recreational juvenile marijuana use.”

The right conclusion here, of course, is yours.

About The Author


Raul Duke has been working as a journalist in Southern California for two decades. The medical marijuana juggernaut is one of his many beats. He's a longtime Westside resident who needs to renew his doctor's recommendation soon. If you have news tips, reach out:

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