Pregnancy, Babies, Parenting News & Tips

Study Shows No Evidence Medical Marijuana Increases Teen Drug Use

By Staff Reporter / Oct 13, 2013 09:30 PM EDT
  • First national marijuana commercial airs on TV
  • (Photo : Flickr) The first national marijuana commercial aired Monday on Comcast, a major U.S. television network.

While marijuana use by teens has been increasing since 2005, an analysis of data from 1993 through 2009 by economists at three universities has found no evidence to link the legalization of medical marijuana to increased use of the drug among high school students.

"There is anecdotal evidence that medical marijuana is finding its way into the hands of teenagers, but there's no statistical evidence that legalization increases the probability of use," said Daniel I. Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver.

Like Us on Facebook

Rees co-authored the study with Benjamin Hansen, assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon and D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University.

They examined the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana consumption using nationally representative data on high school students from the Youth Risky Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the years 1993 through 2009, a period when 13 states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, legalized medical marijuana. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now have such laws with legislation pending in seven others.

"This result is important given that the federal government has recently intensified its efforts to close medical marijuana dispensaries," said Hansen, who studies risky behaviors of adolescents and adults. "In fact, the data often showed a negative relationship between legalization and marijuana use."

Federal officials, including the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, argue that the legalization of medical marijuana has contributed to the recent increase in marijuana use among teens in the United States and have targeted dispensaries operating within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and playgrounds.

According to the 2011 report "Monitoring the Future National Results on Adolescent Drug Use," prepared annually by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, marijuana use by 10th and 12th graders has risen in the last three years, with roughly one in 15 high school seniors smoking marijuana daily or near-daily. The report, cited in the economists' study, surveyed 46,700 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades, in 400 secondary schools.

The study "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use" currently is made available by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a private, non-profit independent research institute based in Bonn, Germany, that conducts internationally oriented labor market research. 

Researchers examined the relationship between legalization and a variety of outcomes including: marijuana use at school, whether the respondent was offered drugs on school property, alcohol use, and cocaine use. Their results provided no evidence that legalization led to increases in the use of marijuana at school, the likelihood of being offered drugs on school property, or the use of other substances.

In addition to using the national YRBS, the researchers drew on state YRBS data for the period 1993 through 2009 and data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). None of these sources provided evidence that teenage marijuana use increases with the legalization of medical marijuana.

The YRBS and NLSY97 contain information on self-reported marijuana use. The researchers also analyzed the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), which contains information on whether patients at federally funded drug treatment facilities tested positive for marijuana upon admission. The results suggested that legalization of medical marijuana was unrelated to the likelihood that patients ages 15-20 tested positive for marijuana.

"We are confident that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase when a state legalizes medical marijuana," said Montana State's Anderson, who studies health economics, risky behavior and crime.

Provided by University of Colorado Denver

'Fast and Furious 7' Actress Jordana Brewster is 'Deeper In Love' with Son Julian

"Fast and the Furious 7" actress Jordana Brewster is revelling in the joy of motherhood. People reported that the actress has come to embrace both her strengths and imperfections as mom to 18-month old, Julian.

Read More »

Mom's 'Permanently Flabby' Bikini Body is a 'Blessing'? 'I Was Blessed Enough to Carry My Babies'

A mother of three, 32-year old Rachel Hollis proved to the world that mothers should not be ashamed of their post-baby bodies no matter what happens.

Read More »

6 Child-Friendly Restaurants in USA

Eating in restaurants is one of kids' favorite pastimes. Children delight in exploring surroundings outside their homes while enjoying good food and fortunately, America is home to several restaurants that cater to kids' gourmet fancies in every way possible.

Read More »

Zayn Malik Leaves One Direction; Child Depression May Result - 7 Ways to Help Your Kid

Just like adults, children are also prone to depression. Sometimes, kids get depressed about the personal lives of the celebrities they idolizes. Take for instance, Zayn Malik's departure from the famous boy band, One Direction.

Read More »

8 Clever Design Ideas on Decorating Your Table for Easter Brunch

Easter Sunday celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead. On this day, families gather to appreciate the selfless deeds Christ has done for humankind. In addition to spiritual commemorations, meal brunches are traditions in many homes during Easter, as well.

Read More »

Carrie Underwood Buys Fruits & Vegetables to Help Lose Baby Weight

New mom and "American Idol" winner, Carrie Underwood, might just let you in on a secret in losing that baby weight. Enstarz reported that the singer was seen recently in Franklin, Tennessee looking slim less than one month after giving birth.

Read More »

'Fast & Furious 7' Ride Opens in Universal Studios

The April 3 release of "Fast and the Furious 7" will come in time as the film's ride version is going to be set for a grand launch on June 25.

Read More »

Spring 2015 Cleaning Checklist: Hire a Pro Cleaner

When the kids were out and about in school, you hardly had any time for yourself. Spring means finally being available to catch up on doing things you previously missed.

Read More »

6 Home Design Ideas That Are Best for Your Family

Your family always comes first when it comes to nurturing your home. For this reason, designing your home in ways that will make daily living convenient to your entire family is a must.

Read More »

6 Cheap Kitchen Design Ideas 2015

Your kitchen is more than just a place in your home for good food. Indulging in your sumptuous meals in a desirable environment where good ambience abounds is equally important, too.

Read More »

'Fast and Furious 7' Cast Vin Diesel Names Daughter After Paul Walker; Name Revealed Here

Vin Diesel's new bundle of joy's name has been announced! E! Online reported that the "Fast and the Furious" series star named his newborn daughter after the late Paul Walker.

Read More »

Taylor Swift Corrects Princeton Review Test for Wrong Lyrics

"Style" singer, Taylor Swift, is in the know about what others have to say about her music. The talented singer smartly defended her lyrics against a Princeton test review publication, as reported in US Magazine.

Read More »

Real Time Analytics