A study published earlier this month from researchers at the University of Washington reveals that letting adults use recreational marijuana may encourage teenagers to use it as well.
Since the 1990s, teen marijuana use generally has declined.
However, researchers found that teens in Washington became much more likely to report they had used marijuana in the past year following legalization of recreational marijuana in that state in 2012.
A similar study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine last February found adolescents in Oregon were more likely to use marijuana as recreational marijuana expanded.
In other words, it appears that legalizing recreational marijuana for adults encourages teens to try marijuana as well.
That’s dangerous, because other studies have found marijuana use is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide — particularly among adolescents.
A 2019 study found that marijuana addiction among young people is tied to increased risk of heart problems.
A second study found regular marijuana use increases a young person’s risk of suffering a stroke.
Researchers have repeatedly found marijuana use is tied to stroke as well as permanent loss in IQ and an increased risk for schizophrenia.
That’s part of the reason why the U.S. Surgeon General has warned young people about marijuana use.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that marijuana is dangerous, groups in Arkansas are working to legalize marijuana, and Arkansans have spent millions of dollars of so-called “medical marijuana.”
As we have said time and time again: Marijuana may be many things, but “harmless” simply is not one of them.