Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Promote Teenage Pot Use According To New Study

Sean Mahoney

There's a new medical marijuana study out that will have medical marijuana proponents smiling as if they've just eaten a pot-brownie, while those against medical marijuana will be frowning as if a medical marijuana dispensary was just opened across the street from a nursery school.

The findings of the new study are also proving to be particularly controversial since it involves teenagers and claims that medical marijuana being made legal does nothing to increase or promote the use of marijuana among teenagers, reports Rare.

The new medical marijuana study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, "used 24 years of national data from the USA to examine the relationship between state medical marijuana laws and adolescent use of marijuana."

The findings of the study concluded that teenagers in the states that had passed medical marijuana laws were not more prone to start using marijuana after the medical marijuana laws were passed.

"Our findings, consistent with previous evidence, suggest that passage of state medical marijuana laws does not increase adolescent use of marijuana."

While the results of this new medical marijuana/teenager study match the findings of several other studies that have focused on the relationship between medical marijuana and marijuana using teenagers, those against medical marijuana are crying poppycock.

According to the New York Times, some anti-marijuana researchers such as former Obama administration adviser, Kevin Sabet, don't think marijuana should be legal, medical or otherwise, and say this reportedly very in-depth medical marijuana-and-teenagers study doesn't go far enough to be convincing.

"Medical marijuana laws vary drastically across the U.S. and often take years to be implemented, so what we need to see is the longer-term effects of these laws and the accompanying commercialization efforts, which this study does not do."

While admitting that the 24 years of data used could possibly be "spun," Dr. Kevin Hill, director of substance abuse consultation at McLean Hospital, and Harvard University psychiatry professor, also believes the medical-marijuana/teenager relationship study is valuable.

"We have a war going on over marijuana, and I think both sides have been guilty at times of spinning the data. (But) it's nice to have a scientifically rigorous study to guide policy."

[Images by Marc Piscotty, and Theo Stroomer, Getty Images]