Marijuana

As Fear and Intolerance of Marijuana Declined, So Did Adolescent Use

Prohibitionists warned that loosening legal restrictions on cannabis would encourage teenagers to smoke pot.

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Former drug czar Gil Kerlikowske ||| ONDCP

A new analysis of data from a government-sponsored survey shows that marijuana use and abuse by teenagers declined as one state after another reduced penalties for possession and legalized cannabis for medical use. In my latest Forbes column, I explain how that outcome contradicts the predictions of leading pot prohibitionists:

Ever since 1996, when California became the first state to recognize marijuana as a medicine, drug warriors have been warning that loosening legal restrictions on cannabis "sends the wrong message" to the youth of America, encouraging them to use a drug they would otherwise avoid. Twenty years later, with marijuana legal for medical or recreational use in two dozen states and the nation's capital, there is little evidence that adolescents have responded in the way pot prohibitionists predicted. In fact, data from government-sponsored surveys show that teenagers are less likely to use marijuana and, if they do, less likely to abuse it than they were before this sea change in state policy.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. “But of the fruit of that plant you shall not inhale.”

    1. “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

      —-Genesis 1:29

      “The river of life proceeded to flow from the throne of God, and on either side of the bank there was the tree of life, and the leaf from that tree is for the healing of the nations.”

      —-Revelation 22:2

      “As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end.”

      —-Marley 2:10

  2. “The researchers found that the decline could be explained by a drop in the percentage of teenagers reporting conduct problems, which are correlated with marijuana abuse.

    “We found that scores on a measure of self-reported past-year conduct problems declined substantially over the 2002 to 2013 period, and that this phenomenon statistically accounted for the trend toward lower risk for marijuana use disorders,” Grucza et al. say. Why conduct problems became less common during this period is not clear, although “some possible contributing causes mentioned in the existing literature include reduced lead exposure, more frequent diagnosis and treatment of childhood behavior disorders, a rise in school-based programs to prevent violence and bullying, and the emergence of state anti-bullying laws.”

    I don’t find that explanation satisfying. Their explanation seems to completely disregard the changes in distribution patterns.

    I suspect the legal market for marijuana is treating children like the legal market for alcohol. People generally avoid selling alcohol to kids, and I suspect parents who indulge are even more careful about access to their stash than they are about locking up the liquor cabinet.

    How did the self-reported number of teen marijuana users compare to the number of teen alcohol drinkers? Did they drop in tandem?

    1. This explanation makes no sense. I have never before heard of any correlation between marijuana use and lead poisoning. As for bullying, it is the bully or the victim, or both, who smokes dope?

      The unstated implication in all this is that the only young people who would smoke dope are those who have something wrong with them (lead poisoning, behavior disorders), who are social deviants (bullies) or who are helpless victims of oppression (bullying victims).

      1. Let’s try again.

        Why conduct problems became less common during this period is not clear, although “some possible contributing causes mentioned in the existing literature include reduced lead exposure, more frequent diagnosis and treatment of childhood behavior disorders, a rise in school-based programs to prevent violence and bullying, and the emergence of state anti-bullying laws.”

        Lead exposure, etc. are listed as contributing factors in child conduct problems.

        1. Right, and the decline in marijuana use is suggested to be attributable to the decline in those problems over the time period studied.

          That was the explanation they gave.

          I’m sure people who self-medicate to compensate with those kinds of problems make up a portion of teen marijuana users.

          But let’s not pretend the change in distribution, from black market to above the table, doesn’t have impact whatsoever on access, and, like Number 2 said, lots of people smoke it in high school just because it’s fun.

          My understanding is that the average teenage girl loses her virginity somewhere near the age of 16. Some of them lose it because they have low self-esteem, I’m sure. Plenty of them lose it because they want to. There are lots of reasons why teenage girls choose to have sex. Kids don’t just choose to get high ’cause they’re poorly adjusted. Some of them presumably do it just because they’re bored.

          Meanwhile, surely it isn’t absurd to suspect that the black market didn’t care as much about prohibitions against selling to teens, and now that the black market is shrinking, it may result in less access for kids.

  3. Read the whole thing.

    If I wanted to read at Forbes, I would have this tab open to Forbes.

    /you aren’t my real dad

  4. In fact, data from government-sponsored surveys show that teenagers are less likely to use marijuana and, if they do, less likely to abuse it than they were before this sea change in state policy.

    I’m not all that surprised. It’s amazing what happens when something becomes normal. Nothing’s more humdrum than how your Mom spends her free time.

    It lost shock value. Marijuana has become domesticated.

    Locally, the kids these days seem to be really into… running. You see the little buggers all over town at sunrise and sunset. Earbuds, track shorts, knee high socks. I dunno, I don’t see what’s so wrong with fucking, smoking, getting drunk and painting Garfield Hill like a normal goddamned kid. Sad!

    1. Locally, the kids these days seem to be really into… running. You see the little buggers all over town at sunrise and sunset.

      Those people…ugh.

    2. I feel like OMWC when I get out of work early. The HS girls track team runs by my neighborhood and I nearly break my neck.

  5. Curious what “abusing cannabis” actually means.

  6. Off topic — Florida Man . . .

    http://www.recorderonline.com/…..e7394.html

    DEBARY, Fla. (AP) ? A construction in Florida worker has been arrested after authorities say he buried his boss in dirt using a front-end loader.

    1. I like his defense. ” It was an accident. I was reaching for my keys when I buried him and knocked his punk ass out.”

      1. I like that he’s a construction in Florida worker.

        There’s construction. And then there’s construction in Florida.

        1. It’s the orlando sentinel. Pay not attention.

  7. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

    ????? http://www.Reportmax90.com

    1. Are those bullets? I need a safe space!

      1. Depicting bullets flying though the air is indeed insensitive to Floridian-Americans.

      2. They look like arrows. RACIST!

        1. #notallarrows

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