Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Marijuana Legalization = Increased Teen Pot Use, Says Study

Proponents of legalization often assure those who are concerned about how the legalization of marijuana will impact teens that there will be limitations put into place to protect teens from accessing marijuana when it is legalized. Many push for restrictions on marketing marijuana to kids as well.

However, despite the best efforts of law enforcement and others, a new survey published in the International Journal of Drug Policy found that legalized marijuana almost always results in higher rates of teen marijuana use and abuse in the community.

The survey was taken among 12th graders who were asked whether or not they would try marijuana if it were legalized. About 10 percent of respondents who said that they did not currently use marijuana reported that they would try it if it were legalized. About 10,000 high school seniors were included in the study, according to UPI.

Motivation to Avoid Use

There are a number of reasons why a teenager may choose not to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, or use other illicit substances. Some of the most commonly reported reasons for avoiding these substances as reported by teens include:

  • Religious views forbid it.
  • Parents do not approve.
  • It’s wrong.
  • It’s unhealthy.
  • It’s illegal.

The survey seems to suggest that even teens who won’t use other substances for one or more of the reasons above are only avoiding marijuana due to its illegal status.

Dr. Joseph J. Palamar was lead researcher on the study. In a news release, he said, “What I personally find interesting is the reasonably high percentage of students who are very religious, non-cigarette smokers, non-drinkers, and those who have friends who disapprove of marijuana use—who said they intended to try marijuana if it was legal. This suggests that many people may be solely avoiding use because it is illegal, not because it is ‘bad’ for you or ‘wrong’ to use.”

What’s stopping your son from using marijuana?

Teen Marijuana Use and Abuse

Legal or not for adults, marijuana use is not legalized for use by teens for any reason, including medicinal purposes. But for many teens, the fact that it is legal may suggest that it is also safe and therefore an option for them when it may not have been previously.

If your son is abusing marijuana, it’s not something that you should ignore. Teen use of marijuana can cause a number of problems for him, including:

  • Drugged driving accident
  • Disease or unwanted pregnancy due to having unprotected sex under the influence
  • Academic problems
  • Increased depression or other mental health symptoms
  • Social issues with other family members or friends

Help your son stop using marijuana today. Contact us at Muir Wood and find out more about our unique, teen-focused rehabilitation program today