New Study Confirms No Relation Between Marijuana Legalization And Increased Use Among Teenagers

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana legalization laws are not associated with increased use amongst high school students.

“Consistent with estimates from prior studies, there was little evidence that [recreational marijuana laws] or [medical marijuana laws] encourage youth marijuana use,” reads the paper.

The study builds upon a previous paper that used data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) for the period 1993-2017, which found that marijuana adoption was associated with an 8% decrease in the odds of marijuana use among high school students. 

See also: How Long Does Marijuana Stay In Your System?

This earlier study used pre-legalization and post-legalization data from only 7 states and pre– and post–recreational sales data from only 3 states. The new study included data from up to 2019, encompassing 10 legal adult-use states.

With these additional data, the study found that “medical marijuana law adoption was associated with a 6% decrease in the odds of current marijuana use and a 7% decrease in the odds of frequent marijuana use.”

When it comes to recreational use, the news study found that prior to legalization, there was no association with marijuana use in the states analyzed. After 2 or more years, recreational marijuana law adoption was associated with a decrease in marijuana use.

See also: The Cannabis-COVID Connection: What We Know And What We Don't Know

The study’s authors point out one limitation of this study in the fact that recreational marijuana laws are a relatively new phenomenon.

“As more post-legalization data become available, researchers will be able to draw firmer conclusions about the relationship between [recreational marijuana laws] and adolescent marijuana use,” concluded the authors.

Encuentra nuestro contenido en Español en El Planteo:

Photo: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Posted In: marijuanaMarijuana TeensPot TeensCannabisMarkets

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.