How Is Marijuana Legalization Associated With Teen Use?

JAMA Pediatrics


Media advisory: To contact corresponding author D. Mark Anderson, Ph.D., email Amy Kanuch at The full study is linked to this news release.

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Bottom Line: This research letter reports on the association between the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana and teen marijuana use. Researchers used data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys from 1993 to 2017, when 27 states and Washington, D.C., contributed data to the survey before and after medical marijuana laws were adopted and seven states contributed data before and after recreational marijuana laws were adopted. More than 1.4 million high school students were included in the final study. The study reports medical marijuana laws weren’t associated with either the likelihood of marijuana use in the past 30 days or frequent marijuana use. Recreational marijuana laws appear to be associated with a decrease in the odds of both measures of marijuana use, which may be because it is more difficult for teenagers to get marijuana if drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.

Author: D. Mark Anderson, Ph.D., of Montana State University, Bozeman, and coauthors



Editor’s Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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