For the longest time, we have been warned that “if you legalize cannabis for adults you’d be sending the wrong kind of message to the kids.” The logic goes that because of kids model what they see in adults if they were to see that “the law says it’s okay to smoke weed” that it would be an immediate open invitation to any kid to smoke weed.

Saying that aloud makes it sound dumb and that’s because that reasoning is dumb. Lawmakers are essentially saying that people are not capable of thinking for themselves. People don’t have a self-filtering mechanism that will allow them to “think or do” without government intervention.

Yes – a ludicrous idea of course. But this is the exact type of reasoning that has helped sustain cannabis prohibition for decades and now – finally a new study seems to be shedding some light on this false-narrative.

More Adults Smoke – Fewer Youth Admissions to Centers
Researchers began analyzing “youth admittance records” in states that have legalized cannabis and specifically with states, which has recreational legalized marijuana on the books. What they found that overall – states with legal adult recreational marijuana consumption had significantly decreased since cannabis was legalized. The greatest decline being in Washington and Colorado.

According to the authors;

“To our knowledge, this is the first study examining the effect of recreational legalization of marijuana in the US on adolescent treatment admissions for marijuana use. Our results indicate that RML in Colorado and Washington was not associated with an increase in treatment admissions. Rather, we observe a substantial decline in admissions rates across US states, with evidence suggesting a greater decline in Colorado/Washington following RML as compared to non-RML states. … While we are encouraged that rates of new treatment admissions for marijuana use among adolescents exhibited a general decline in the states we examined, it is unclear whether this finding reflects trends in the prevalence of CUD (cannabis use disorder) or, rather, changes in treatment-seeking behaviors due to changing perceptions of risk and public attitudes towards marijuana use.” [RML = Recreational Marijuana Laws]

What this could mean is that;

1. Fewer kids are trying pot
2. Fewer Kids are trying pot & not getting caught
3. The perceived risk of cannabis is lowered no longer warranting “Getting sent to a treatment center”
4. Other reasons

Irrespective of what the reason may be – the facts remain that there is a definitive reduction in youth admittance to treatment centers in states with recreational cannabis on the books – compared to those who have no cannabis laws on the books.

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Article published by- Reginald Reefer on Wednesday Jun 10, 2020

Contributor- Jenna Meagher (A.P.C.C. Contributor)

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