Medical Marijuana Laws no Influence on Teen Pot use
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 07/13/2015 in Medical Marijuana Research
We’ve heard it shouted on the rooftops, “Legalize Marijuana and Teen use will skyrocket”. Prohibitionists have used this argument within their arsenal repeatedly. It’s their “what about the children argument” aimed at deterring voters from legalizing medical marijuana.
However, a recent study debunked this myth after analyzing 24 years of data nationwide. What the study found, unsurprisingly to cannabis activists, is that teen use did NOT increase post legalization.
What did the Study find?
The Columbia University Study, which was published in the medical journal, Lancet Psychiatry, showed no difference between teen pot use in states that have legal medical marijuana frameworks and those that didn’t.
According to Dr. Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Medical Center, that there was no evidence in a spike of teen use in the first two years post legalization efforts.
In California, the first state to pass medical marijuana laws in 1996, the same scare tactics were used and now nearly 20 years later, there is no evidence of a spike in teen use.
What does this mean?
It’s time we begin to face the facts, there will always be a portion of people who will use cannabis and other substances, legal or not. The evidence suggests that having something ‘legal’ doesn’t mean that a person will be inclined to use it.
It’s not really that difficult to wrap your mind around the concept. Take something like ‘meat’. While it is widely available and heavily marketed, there are some people who simply choose not to eat meat. Alcohol is legal, and still…not everybody drinks.
If the prohibitionist claim was true, our streets should be flooded with alcoholics by now. Yet their premise stems from a fallacy.
The prohibitionist fallacy
The argument that ‘if something is legal use will increase’ has some merit. People will be more likely to experiment without the fear of criminal prosecution; however, it doesn’t mean they will ‘stick with it’.
This idea suggests that humans are incapable of making rational decisions about their own life. Essentially, we are called ‘animals’ who act on primal instinct, we have no will of our own.
Sure, teens are rebellious by nature, they tend to do what they are not permitted to do…in this case, wouldn’t legalization actually deter teen use since you normalize the act. It is no longer a rebellious act when it’s widely accepted by everyone.