While medical marijuana has had some setbacks in being legalized, a new study may help squash and qualms about its effect on teenagers. The findings broadly concludes that legalization does not have a significant influence over how many youngsters smoke or don't smoke weed, according to Live Science.
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Deborah Hasin, the senior author who conducted the study and teaches epidemiology at Columbia University reveals how "there appears to be no basis for the argument that legalizing medical marijuana has increased teens' use the drug." However, Hasin does note that further research may help nuance this data as medical marijuana becomes more commercialized and as more states begin to legalize recreational use the drug.
This specific scientific investigation pulled from eleven other queries conducted between between 1991 to 2014, which tracked teen marijuana use. The results were then compared to use the drug within the last month to find any significant differences, which resulted in researchers concluding that teenagers did not smoke more weed after legalization laws were passed in each respective state. While the study was focused on overall use, further research may help reveal patterns in daily use, dependency, as well as any possible future effects once more states legalize marijuana.
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Hasin does admit that there's significantly less statistical attention centred around adult weed consumption, detailing how "although we found no significant effect on adolescent marijuana use, existing evidence suggests that adult recreational use may increase after medical marijuana laws are passed. The $8 billion cannabis industry anticipates tripling by 2025. Obtaining a solid evidence base about harmful as well as beneficial effects medical and recreational marijuana laws on adults is crucial given the intense economic pressures to expand cannabis markets."