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Teenage Marijuana Use & Legalization

Teenage Marijuana Use & Legalization

As the debate over legalized recreational cannabis began in Washington and Colorado in 2012, we’ve heard just about every lie and half-truth trumpeted by anti-pot crusaders. This delusion and fear-stoking is nothing new when it comes to marijuana. Since thinly veiled nativism and racism is no longer an effective tactic for the war on pot, these killjoys had to modify their message. The narrative has now changed to, “Recreational pot has to remain illegal for the children.”[1]

Of course, no one was trying to make it legal for children to use pot recreationally. The law clearly states you must be 21 in order to purchase and consume cannabis. Nonetheless, the anti-pot posse said that by legalizing marijuana you would be signaling to teenagers that smoking weed is 1) OK and harmless[2] and 2) that this along with a larger supply of pot would lead to dramatic increases in teenage marijuana use. What happens next? Moral decay! Teenage pot fiends! A generation of teenagers who are incapable of thinking![3]

Last month, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy published a study on the impact of recreational marijuana on Washington State over the past five years. The state-ran think tank indicated that marijuana use by teenagers has DECREASED since legalization. This lines up with a recent federal government report that indicated that teen cannabis use is at a 20 year low and that teen cannabis consumption in Washington and Colorado has fallen every year since legalization. These reports are nothing new; we’ve seen similar results in every study we have seen on the topic since 2012. There is simply NO evidence to suggest that legal adult use causes an increase in teen use. [4] Zero. Nada. Zilch. In fact, we see a decrease in use among teens.

While this faux-panic didn’t stop voters from approving recreational pot in Washington, it remains influential in the media. On a federal level, pot remains illegal and ridiculously scheduled due in no small part to this argument. Unfortunately, some very powerful people believe in this myth. In 2016, the recreational marijuana ballot measure in Arizona failed when a “concerned citizen” group partially funded by opiate producers trotted out this teen argument in television ads across the state. We here at Agate Dreams believe in the right for adults to use cannabis responsibly.

Don’t let others spread this lie anymore. The results are in, and teen pot use does not increase with legalization. Please share this information with prohibitions, and toke on dreamers!

[1] (clutching pearls) Oh the children! Who will think of the children! (faints on stage)

[2] If you are an adult, it is ok. Everything in moderation my friends!

[3] Well we got this, but through the smartphone! Just kidding! Or am I? I am!?!

[4]Different reports on the topic:
Science Daily – Legalization of marijuana in Washington had no effect on teens’ access to drug

Leafly – Another Study Shows Cannabis Legalization Does Not Increase Underage Access

Leafly – Here’s Why Cannabis Legalization Doesn’t Lead to Higher Teen Use Rates

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