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WIRE: Study shows enacting medical cannabis laws doesn’t increase teen use

Waltham, MA — State laws regulating the use and dispensing of medical marijuana are not associated with increased cannabis use rates among young people, according to findings published online ahead of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers at Brandeis University and Harvard Medical School assessed adolescent marijuana use patterns in 45 states between the years 1991 to 2011. Authors reported “little evidence for an increase in past-30-day marijuana use, or past-30-day heavy marijuana use, among adolescents in response to state-enacted MMLs (medical marijuana laws), regardless of most provisions.”

The conclusions are consistent with those of multiple other studies finding that changes in the statewide legal status of cannabis are not predictive of greater use by teens.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “The design of medical marijuana laws and adolescent use and heavy use of marijuana: Analysis of 45 states from 1991 to 2011,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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