Study shows no evidence medical marijuana increases teen drug use
While marijuana use by teens has been increasing since 2005, an analysis of data from 1993 through 2009 by economists at three universities has found no evidence to link the legalization of medical marijuana to increased use of the drug among high school students.
"There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there's no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use," said Daniel I. Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver.
Rees co-authored the study with Benjamin Hansen, assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon and D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.
They examined the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana consumption using nationally representative data on high school students from the Youth Risky Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the years 1993 through 2009, a period when 13 states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, legalized medical marijuana. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now have such laws with legislation pending in seven others.
"This result is important given that the federal government has recently intensified its efforts to close medical marijuana dispensaries," said Hansen, who studies risky behaviors of adolescents and adults. "In fact, the data often showed a negative relationship between legalization and marijuana use."
Federal officials, including the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, argue that the legalization of medical marijuana has contributed to the recent increase in marijuana use among teens in the United States and have targeted dispensaries operating within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and playgrounds.
According to the 2011 report "Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use," prepared annually by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, marijuana use by 10th and 12th graders has risen in the last three years, with roughly one in 15 high school seniors smoking marijuana daily or near-daily. The report, cited in the economists' study, surveyed 46,700 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades, in 400 secondary schools.
The new study "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use" currently is a non-peer-reviewed working paper made available by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a private, non-profit independent research institute based in Bonn, Germany, that conducts internationally oriented labor market research. The paper is available online at http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/publications/papers/viewAbstract?dp_id=6592.
Researchers examined the relationship between legalization and a variety of outcomes including: marijuana use at school, whether the respondent was offered drugs on school property, alcohol use, and cocaine use. Their results provided no evidence that legalization led to increases in the use of marijuana at school, the likelihood of being offered drugs on school property, or the use of other substances.
In addition to using the national YRBS, the researchers drew on state YRBS data for the period 1993 through 2009 and data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). None of these sources provided evidence that teenage marijuana use increases with the legalization of medical marijuana.
The YRBS and NLSY97 contain information on self-reported marijuana use. The researchers also analyzed the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), which contains information on whether patients at federally funded drug treatment facilities tested positive for marijuana upon admission. The results suggested that legalization of medical marijuana was unrelated to the likelihood that patients ages 15-20 tested positive for marijuana.
"We are confident that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase when a state legalizes medical marijuana," said Montana State's Anderson, who studies health economics, risky behavior and crime.
Provided by University of Colorado Denver
- Study shows medical marijuana laws reduce traffic deaths Nov 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds legalizing medical marijuana does not increase use among youth Nov 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Marijuana use may double the risk of accidents for drivers Oct 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Medical marijuana outlets not linked to crime Jun 06, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Occasional marijuana use doesn't harm lungs, study finds Jan 12, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Bubbles in a Pre-Boiling/Boiling pot of water
51 minutes ago How is it that bubbles form on the bottom of a surface of a pot of boiling water? I think that there is probably an elementary answer to this...
Assumptions of Griffith's fracture theory
11 hours ago Any experts on Griffith's fracture theory? I am studying the subject and I am having hard time finding out if the theory is valid for all possible...
Current leading voltage or vice versa concept
12 hours ago Hello, I was wondering if there is a conceptual explanation for when current leads voltage or vice versa for capacitors or inductors with AC...
Angular Frequency of AC voltage
16 hours ago Hello, I am wondering, what is the physical interpretation of the angular frequency of AC voltage? I don't see the physicality of what the angle...
Modeling Rigid Body - Unsure about Euler angles and angular velocity
16 hours ago I'm modeling a single 3D rigid body in preparation for some more complicated modeling in order to gain a better understanding of Euler angles, the...
Function for a bullet's path
17 hours ago I've been mulling this over all weekend, and I've decided to get some help on this. The problem is writing a function to describe a bullet's path....
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
In order to avoid exposing vulnerable groups such as children and young adults to alcohol advertising, industry groups have developed their own self-regulation guidelines. However, these guidelines have been criticized for ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
In order to avoid harms associated with alcohol consumption, in 2009 the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism issued guidelines that define low-risk drinking. These guidelines differ for men and women: no more ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Treatment for alcohol use disorders works best if the patient actively understands and incorporates the interventions provided in the clinic. Multiple factors can influence both the type and degree of neurocognitive abnormalities ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of South Florida have evaluated how Florida health care and social service agencies distribute "Libres para Siempre", a Spanish smoking relapse prevention booklet ...
Addiction May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Declines in smoking among youths were observed from the late 1990s. "However, limited information exists on trends in smokeless ...
Addiction May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when ...
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Widely available in pharmacies and health stores, phosphatidylserine is a natural food supplement produced from beef, oysters, and soy. Proven to improve cognition and slow memory loss, it's a popular treatment for older ...
58 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke in early childhood are more likely to grow up to physically aggressive and antisocial, regardless of whether they were exposed during pregnancy or their parents have a history ...
18 minutes ago | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
2 hours ago | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
1 hour ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
Researchers at Emory University have identified a protein that stimulates a pair of "orphan receptors" found in the brain, solving a long-standing biological puzzle and possibly leading to future treatments for neurological ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |