The 10 states that approved medical marijuana laws over the last decade have experienced sharp declines in cannabis use among teenagers, says a marijuana advocacy group’s study reported by the Los Angeles Times. California’s usage among ninth-graders dropped 47 percent since 1996, the year the state became the nation’s first to legalize medical marijuana. The nation experienced a 43% decline among eighth-graders.
The study is based on data from national and state surveys. It was compiled by Mitch Earleywine, a State University of New York psychology professor, and Karen O’Keefe, a legislative analyst with Marijuana Policy Project, the organization that commissioned the research. That data “strongly suggests” that approval of medical marijuana has not increased recreational use of cannabis among adolescents, Earleywine and O’Keefe said. The decline in many of the states with medical marijuana laws is “slightly more favorable” than trends nationwide, they said.