Medical and adult-use cannabis legalization does not increase teen marijuana use, based on actual data from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy as well as on the recently released federal survey data.
According to the federal survey data, cannabis use among the 12 to 17 years age group has dropped to its lowest level since 1994.
There has been a statistically significant drop since 2014 when Colorado and Washington opened their legal adult use stores.
So data seems to prove the exact opposite of what anti-cannabis campaigners predicted. Most of the fear-mongering tends to focus on teenage use, and public health experts often jump on board saying that the adolescent brains are still developing.
Now, they can all rest assured, as a matter of fact, can immediately jump ship and start campaigning for cannabis legalization, as there is evidence now, that it helps to keep kids away from cannabis.
The myth that legalization would send the wrong message to the youth and teenage cannabis use would increase has officially been busted.
Alcohol use among this susceptible age group of 12 to 17 is still much more common than cannabis use and accordingly, it should be a lot bigger concern.
The survey data showed that 2.3 million kids between 12 and 17 drunk alcohol in the past month, while only 1.6 million used cannabis. Considering the proven devastating effects of alcohol on the developing adolescent brain, alcohol remains a significantly larger risk to teens and to public health in general.
Cannabis use among adults is increasing though, and based on the data, the increase is happening at the expense of alcohol consumption and that could also be a very good news for public health.
Alcohol kills approximately 88,000 people in the US every year, while cannabis kills 0, so the more people swap alcohol for cannabis, the better it is for everybody.
Carl Sagan saw that cannabis would bring a lot of value to society and now, with legal states and even countries starting to provide the data to prove that it does proving to work out in practice as well.
“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan, American Astronomer
Teenagers seem to be more interested in marijuana while it is prohibited and once it is regulated, their interest and ability to access the drug both work in favour of keeping cannabis out of their hands.
Cannabis prohibition does not help humanity, rather it is criminalizing and killing children and cause a lot of problems in terms of public health and safety.
Prohibition does the opposite of what it’s trying to achieve. It has been known for a long time, that punishment does not change the tendency and desire to engage in the punished behavior, as a matter of fact, it is likely to increase it. Now, it has been proven by actual data.
This kind of evidence should make governments around the world to rethink the failed war on cannabis and realize that legalization is the only way to serve their people and cease doing any more harm.