Teen use in states that have medical marijuana laws

Drug Policy Question of the Week – 5-10-10

As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network on 5-10-10.  http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/2890

Question of the Week: Is teen use of marijuana is higher in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without them?

The Congressional Research Service took a look at this issue in its April 2010 report entitled, “Medical Marijuana: Review and Analysis of Federal and State Policies.”

The report stated,

“A statistical analysis of marijuana use by emergency room patients and arrestees in four states with medical marijuana programs—California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—found no statistically significant increase in recreational marijuana use … after medical marijuana was approved.”

The CRS report referred to

“Another study [that] looked at adolescent marijuana use and found decreases in youth usage in every state with a medical marijuana law. Declines in usage exceeding 50% were found in some age groups,”

The CRS report added,

“California, the state with the largest and longest-running medical marijuana program, ranked 34th in the percentage of persons age 12-17 reporting marijuana use in the past month.”

Finally, the CRS report concluded that,

“No clear patterns [concerning teen use] are apparent … “ state-to-state and that “more important factors are at work in determining a state’s prevalence of recreational marijuana use than whether the state has a medical marijuana program.”

The Federation of American Scientists maintains a collection of Congressional Research Service reports on its website at http://www.fas.org. You can find this extensive 51-page overview of medical marijuana there by searching on the key word ‘marijuana.’

And of course, you can also find facts concerning medical marijuana like these from the Congressional Research Service at Drug War Facts in the Medical Marijuana Chapter.