Study: Legalizing Medical Marijuana Would NOT Turn Teens Into Potheads!
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According to a new study out of Brown University, legalizing medical marijuana would most likely not turn all of America's teenagers into potheads. The study compared rates of marijuana use in Massachusetts to those in Rhode Island—where medical marijuana was legalized in 2006—and found that it had no influence on teens’ drug habits. We guess this means alarmists will have to start blaming teen pot use on the return of Beavis and Butthead.
“We wanted to pair these two states because they have so much in common culturally and geographically,” Dr. Esther Choo told Time, explaining why researchers chose to compare Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the study. She further explained why it's ridiculous to think that teens would be influenced to emulate sick people who use medical marijuana: "Whether they are taking it for pain or for vomiting control or appetite, this is not a group we think of as super inspiring for young people to take up their drug patter. It’s an older population that is generally very ill.”
The new study's results are in line with two similar ones, including one done by the Marijuana Policy Project, which came to the same conclusions. The other one was done in California in 2005, which found that marijuana use in California didn’t increase after the state legalized medical marijuana—in fact, between 1996, the year the law passed, and 2004, the number of students who admitted to smoking pot in the previous month dived 47 percent.
This past summer, group of of NY State politicians led by Sen. Thomas Duane and State Sen. Diane Savinobanded together to sponsor a bill to legalize medical marijuana in NY state, through a "registered dispensing facility" with doctor approval. Savino told us at the time that as someone who"has watched family members suffer incredible pain as a result of terminalillness...there's nothing [currently available] that can deal with the nausea of chemo therapy." She reasoned that if medical marijuana can provide some level of relief, and in particular, act as an appetite stimulant, "we should do whatever is possible to remove the roadblocks for distribution of medical marijuana."
The new study comes out at the same time that a recent Gallup poll found that, for the first time since 1969,more Americans think weed should be legal than don't. Hey,if it was legal, the whole country would probably be a lot less obese.