Youth cannabis usage declines post legalization, suggests recent study

New research published by JAMA Pediatrics suggests youth cannabis usage rates have steadily declined in states with regulated adult-use markets.

Led by Mark Anderson, a health economist at Montana State University, a group of researchers analyzed federal data on trends relating to cannabis and youth (grades 9-12) consumption and behavior, studying surveys from 1993 through 2017, involving more than 1.4 million US high school students. Survey questions polled students on their usage of cannabis, and the frequency of it -allowing researchers to compare the same students results post-legalization in states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California.

No significant decrease was found within states limited to a medical program, but meta-analysis revealed no examples of a spike in usage across any demographics, and found more than a 8% decline in reported youth usage in states with an adult-use market.

Consistent with the results of previous researchers,there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported in the¬†Table¬†showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes,” wrote D. Mark Anderson, PhD

The recent report from Anderson and JAMA Pediatrics aligns with other states individual reports – which all indicate no rise in self-reported cannabis use by adolescents.

What was once used as a prominent argument against cannabis reform has been turned on its head, proving regulating cannabis for adult use to have potential public policy benefits.

John Kuster

As Social Media Coordinator, John oversees all things related to getting Revolution Enterprises' unique message out. An Iowa native, John joined the Revolution team to help educate, and inform the public on cannabis and all it has to offer. Prior to joining Revolution, John helped multiple companies grow and expand their reach, ranging from the tech industry to the world of international football. He is thrilled to be working in a rapidly expanding market, and is proud to represent Illinois patients and cannabis advocates across the globe.