SAM September 2014
• Since certain states began permitting the dispensing of medical marijuana, adolescents’ perceptions of the harmful effects of marijuana have decreased, and marijuana use has increased significantly.
• A major study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence by researchers at Columbia University looked at two separate data sets and found that residents of states with medical marijuana had marijuana abuse/dependence rates almost twice as high as states without such laws.
• An additional study in the September 2011 issue of Annals of Epidemiology found that, among youths ages 12-17, marijuana use rates were higher in states with medical marijuana laws (8.6%) compared with those without
such laws (6.9%).
• A study published in the Harm Reduction Journal (not exactly an anti–drug mouthpiece), analyzing more than 3,000 medical marijuana users in California, found that an overwhelming majority (87.9%) of those queried about the details of their marijuana initiation had tried it before the age of 19, and the average user was a 32–year–old, white male. 74% of the Caucasians in the sample had used cocaine, and more than 50% had used methamphetamine in their lifetime.
Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (December 14, 2011). “Marijuana use continues to rise among U.S. teens, while alcohol use hits historic lows.” University of Michigan News Service: Ann Arbor, MI. Retrieved January 2, 2012, from http://www.monitoringthefuture.org
Wall, M. M., Poh, E., Cerda, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S., & Hasin, D. S. (2011). Adolescent marijuana use from 2002 to 2008: higher in states with medical marijuana laws, cause still unclear. Annals of Epidemiology, 21(9), 714-716.
Cerdá, M., Wall, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S., & Hasin, D. (2012). Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: Investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse, and dependence. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 120(1-3): 22-27.
Wall, M. et al (2011). Adolescent Marijuana Use from 2002 to 2008: Higher in States with Medical Marijuana Laws, Cause Still Unclear, Annals of epidemiology, Vol 21 issue 9 Pages 714-716.
O’Connell, T. J., & Bou-Matar, C. B. (2007). Long-term marijuana users seeking medical cannabis in California (2001-2007): Demographics, social characteristics, patterns of cannabis and other drug use of 4117 applicants. Harm Reduction Journal, 4(16).