A report from the CDC shows that cannabis consumption among teens has decreased during the years after states legalized recreational marijuana use.
According to the biannual Youth Risk Behavior Survey that was released on Friday, cannabis consumption increased between 2009 and 2013 then declined between 2013 and 2019. The data thus supports the case from backers that asserted that the creation of a regulated cannabis market would not influence youth consumption as prohibitionists had previously warned.
The survey also found that the rate of marijuana use recorded no change among teens and high school students between 2009 and 2019 despite consumption methods diversifying. When the analysis was done using another method, cannabis consumption declined during the 2009-2019 period.
The results confirmed the need to carry on the promotion of cannabis legalization and the regulation of community safety benefits as well as public health and with focus on limiting youth access.
The CDC report also shows 21.7 % of students in high school admitted to consuming cannabis in the last 30 days, while 29.2% reported to have consumed alcohol in the same period window. For lifetime use however, marijuana consumption is represented at 36.8%/
SAM, a prohibitionist group, stated that the data was a legalization negative. This is in spite of the figures showing that marijuana use hasn’t grown among teens with more states legalizing its use.
However, the analysis does not account for the fact that the CDC failed to include and observe lifetime alcohol use at any stage and the data was excluded from the report in 2019. The reason for this being that Youth Risk Behavior Survey coordinators decided to not include the question, this is including other changes that were made to the questions for the survey in the year 2018. However, no specific reason was given as to why the members decided to make the decision to do so.
In comparison though, alcohol use surpassed marijuana use. Therefore, making the assumption that trends of consumption would be the same is not far-fetched.
According to previous studies that focused on rates of teen use after cannabis legalization, there was a clear decrease in consumption. However, a related absence of evidence indicates an increase.
For instance, a study that collected data from the State of Washington ascertained that the decline in consumption of cannabis might be explained by the regulations that replaced the illegal market, which made marijuana lose its appeal.
This research is likely to come as good news to cannabis industry players like The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (CSE: WTER) (NASDAQ: WTER) who felt it was wrong to say marijuana legalization would increase teen use of the substance.
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