About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Español
VNA of Care New England
VNA of Care New England

Legalizing Medical Marijuana Doesn't Raise Teen Pot Use, Study Says

Although a fifth of teens say they use pot, laws around medical use aren't a factor, research shows
FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- American teens' use of marijuana doesn't increase when states approve the drug for medical use, a new study finds.
"Any time a state considers legalizing medical marijuana, there are concerns from the public about an increase in drug use among teens," principal investigator Dr. Esther Choo, an attending physician in the department of emergency medicine at Rhode Island Hospital, said in a hospital news release.
Choo's team examined 20 years of data from states that do and don't permit medical marijuana use. They found that legalizing medical marijuana did not lead to increased illicit pot use by high school students.
The data showed that nearly 21 percent of teens had used marijuana in the past month, but there were no significant differences in pot use before and after a state legalized medical marijuana, according to the study released online April 15 in advance of print publication in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
She said the findings add "to a growing body of literature published over the past three years that is remarkably consistent in demonstrating that state medical marijuana policies do not have a downstream effect on adolescent drug use, as we feared they might."
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia.
"Researchers should continue to monitor and measure marijuana use," Choo said. "But we hope that this information will provide some level of reassurance to policymakers, physicians, and parents about medical marijuana laws."
More information
The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more on the medical use of marijuana (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine ).
SOURCE: Rhode Island Hospital, news release, April 23, 2014
Health Headlines
Health Highlights: Nov. 23, 2014View in a lightbox
Holidays Can Be Sensory Overload for Kids With AutismView in a lightbox
'Tis the Season of Challenges for Those With Food AllergiesView in a lightbox
Restroom Hand Dryers Spread More Germs Than Paper Towels, Study FindsView in a lightbox
Being the Boss Tied to Depression Risk for Women, But Not MenView in a lightbox
VNA of Care New England
© 2011 Site Index | Disclaimer | Legal Notices | Talks Your Health