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Does Legalization of Marijuana Affect Teen Use?

With the marijuana being legalized in more states, many concerned parents worry about how this will affect their teen. Since cannabis products have become easier to obtain with the legalization of marijuana, parents fear that their adolescent having more access to the drug could lead to more usage potential. When Oregon legalized recreational marijuana in 2015, there had already been concern for what would happen when teens would have more ease at getting their hands-on marijuana for consumption. Oregon Research Institute (ORI) already had an ongoing adolescent substance use study in the works that they were using to assess teens before and after legalization went into effect. 444 eighth graders were evaluated who were recruited from rural and suburban school districts across the state. The study used two different groups of students to get a good source of information for their research. One group was eighth graders who were gathered in 2014 before legalization and the other group was eighth graders who were enlisted in 2015 after legalization. These eighth graders were then followed into high school were recreational marijuana was regarded to be more accessible. The students were prompted to fill out questionnaires at different times that were studied by the researchers conducting the study. Questions were provided to get the feel of overall marijuana use as well as the perception that these teens had towards marijuana. Parents of the students in the study were also asked to participate in their own questionnaire that quizzed them on their own view of marijuana and if they used cannabis in the home. Surprisingly the study showed something entirely different from what parents and legislators who were against legalization assumed would happen. Legalization did not prove to introduce adolescents to marijuana in the manner that had been presumed. Researchers from ORI found that the number of teens who already used marijuana significantly increased their frequency after marijuana was legalized even more than an increase with new users. This research suggests that adolescents who are already recreationally using marijuana are more likely to be affected by the new laws than those who do not use marijuana at all. The burden of substance abuse should be a consideration where mind-altering substances are prevalent in use. As legalization continues to increase from state to state, parents will benefit with information on how to prepare for what happens next during this time of exploration.  

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery offers nationally accredited academic curriculum to give our clients a chance at gaining an education while building a foundation with their sobriety. Our Academic Advisor can meet with you to create an academic plan for your teenage son and ensure balance will be captured with their therapeutic load.

Call us today to start living your recovery:  662-598-4214