One of the biggest arguments that opponents of legal cannabis have made over and over again is that legal cannabis will lead to increased cannabis use by teens. We’ve of course always known that this was a fallacious argument. After all, the legality of alcohol has no bearing on the ease by which teenagers are able to obtain it. One would expect for the same to apply to legal cannabis.
Legal Cannabis Does Not Increase Teen Use
Well, as it turns out, legalization opponents were wrong (as they often are). A survey conducted in 2016 by Washington state, reveals legal cannabis has not led to an increase in teen use. The Healthy Youth Survey, which is conducted every two years, asks 230,000 high school students from 1,000 different schools about their cannabis usage. The results were quite enlightening.
According to Newsweek, “Only 6 percent of eighth graders, 17 percent of 10th graders and 52 percent of seniors had used marijuana within a month in 2016, which was the same figures for teen use in the state back in 2014.” Hmmm, interesting.
Actually, Legal Cannabis Makes it More Difficult for Teens to Get it
It also seems that since the state started selling legal back in 2014, it’s been more difficult for minors to find and obtain cannabis. Only 27% of high school sophomores reported that cannabis was easy to find, compared to 32% back in 2014.
So, it would seem that not only does legal cannabis not lead to more teens smoking pot, legalization has actually made it more difficult for them to get a hold of it. These results blow a rather large hole in the go-to argument for legalization opponents. From these results, one can come to the conclusion that legalizing cannabis would be better for curbing teen use, than prohibition has been.
Perhaps it’s time to protect the children and end cannabis prohibition?
Image Source: Phoenix New Times
What do you think about these survey results? Do you think legalization would be better for preventing teen use? Share in the comments!