There is an upward curve of U.S. states moving to legalize medical marijuana.
Many other states are also becoming aware of the immense benefits of legal medical marijuana.
Despite the many advantages of medical marijuana, some citizens feared that the new state-issued medical marijuana laws would lead to the prevalence of the drug among teens.
Understandably, legalization of any drug makes it easily available and eliminates social biases towards it.
So, what does that mean for the young boys and girls who are interested in consuming marijuana for themselves? One new study sheds some insight on this question.
New Research: Marijuana Use Among Teens
The study, produced by Columbia University researchers, reveals that use of medical marijuana does not lead to prevalence among adolescents.
This study bursts the myth that legalization of medical marijuana leads to an increase in adolescent cannabis use.
In conducting the new study, which was published last month in Addiction, researchers went back to previous studies done in the past.
Led by Dr. Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the research team unearthed surprising facts.
In all 11 studies, there was no increase in marijuana use among teenagers after it was legalized in their specific states.
Statistics show that in all the states that have legalized marijuana, recent use has greatly dropped among teenagers. Only 6 percent of high school teenagers smoke pot.
Correcting the Record Surrounding Medical Marijuana Use
Legalization has led to increased awareness of both the dangers and benefits of marijuana.
Among other gears raised by anti-marijuana activist groups, and even politicians was that cannabis legalization could lead to an increase in crime rates and violence.
But statistics tell a different story. A case study can be seen in Colorado, which legalized both medical and recreational use of marijuana. Records show that the state’s crime rate has not increased as a result of marijuana legalization.
Further, while marijuana has historically been criticized for influencing rates of addiction, recent research shows otherwise.
Because it can be used as a treatment for chronic pain, medical marijuana prescriptions have shown to be a suitable alternative to addictive painkillers from the likes of oxycodone and vicodin.
And in Colorado, research has found that the legalization of marijuana has effectively reversed the state’s former increase in opioid-related deaths.
In this way, from a public health standpoint, marijuana can serve a needed positive change in communities affected by the opioid crisis in the U.S.