New Study: “Medical Marijuana Laws Amplify Recreational Juvenile Marijuana Use”
Study also finds that alcohol consumption is a salient predictor of marijuana use
From SAM.org June 19, 2015
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A new study (PDF here) in press published in the International Journal of Drug Policy found that medical marijuana laws “amplify” youth marijuana use. The study, which utilized the largest national sample of drug users available, utilized five measurement periods calibrated in two-year intervals (2002-03 to 2010-11).
Lisa Stolzenberg, Stewart J. D’Alessio, and Dustin Dariano of Florida International University remarked in the study that “(our) research design is advantageous in that it affords us the ability not only to assess the effect of the implementation of medical marijuana laws on juvenile drug use, but also to consider other state-specific factors that may explain variation in drug use that cannot be accounted for using a single time series.”
The study also found that other salient predictors of juvenile marijuana include “perceived availability of marijuana, percent of juveniles skipping school, severity of perceived punishment for marijuana possession, alcohol consumption, percent of respondents with a father residing in household, and percent of families in the state receiving public assistance.”
The study apparently contradicts a study published in Lancet Psychiatry this week that found that although Colorado 10th and 12th grade use went up after medical marijuana, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade marijuana use did not go up across most medical marijuana states. That study relied on questionnaires of students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade; this new study relied on a larger sample of households that could include students who dropped out of school.