Select Page

420 with CNW — Another Federally Backed Study Finds Recreational Marijuana Legalization Doesn’t Increase Youth Use

Cannabis News Wire, Media Partners

This post is presented by our media partner Cannabis News Wire

View the original article here.


A recent study supported by federal funds has found no clear link between the legalization of cannabis for adult use and an increase in its consumption among middle schoolers.

To investigate the impact of legal sales on youth usage, researchers conducted a comparative analysis of middle-school usage rates in New Mexico and Nevada, utilizing data from state-conducted surveys in 2017 and 2019. Notably, during this period, Nevada permitted adult-use cannabis sales while New Mexico restricted its use to medical purposes only.

Across both states, the study uncovered rises in the percentages of middle schoolers who had experimented with marijuana and those who reported using it within the past month.

In Nevada, the proportion of students admitting to ever trying marijuana increased from 9.7% in 2017 to 13.3% in 2019. Similarly, past 30-day usage surged from 6.3% to 8.9%. Meanwhile, in New Mexico, lifetime usage rose from 14.1% to 17.4%, with past 30-day usage climbing from 8.9% to 10.5%.

Despite these concerning trends, researchers refrained from directly attributing the rise to legalization. They stated that they didn’t discover convincing evidence linking cannabis legalization with an immediate spike in use among middle school students in Nevada, which is consistent with earlier research.

However, they deemed the general rise in cannabis use among middle-schoolers in both New Mexico and Nevada within the said period troubling due to the known health risks associated with early initiation of cannabis use.

The study, which was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), involved cooperation between researchers from the New Mexico Health Department and the universities of New Mexico and Nevada. Analysis across the two states revealed that female students, individuals of nonwhite ethnicity and those attending low-income Title I schools exhibited higher likelihoods of both past 30-day and lifetime marijuana usage.

The authors suggested that their findings were consistent with existing literature, which suggests that cannabis usage might serve as a coping mechanism for discrimination and poverty, with adolescent females increasingly reporting higher usage rates compared to males.

In terms of policy implications, the study underscored the importance of targeting prevention efforts toward groups at heightened risk rather than solely focusing on the legal status of cannabis for adults.

However, the researchers acknowledged certain limitations of their study, including the inability to account for the potential influence of neighboring states with differing marijuana policies, such as California and Colorado. Additionally, the study did not delve into the frequency of usage or changes in marijuana use disorder.

Several studies have been published dispelling the misconception that cannabis legalization permitting companies such as SNDL Inc. (NASDAQ: SNDL) to operate results in more teens accessing marijuana products. The data is consistent in showing that this isn’t the case.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

To receive SMS alerts from CNW, text CANNABIS to 888-902-4192 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)

For more information, please visit

Please see full terms of use and disclaimers on the CannabisNewsWire website applicable to all content provided by CNW, wherever published or re-published:

Denver, CO
303.498.7722 Office

CannabisNewsWire is powered by IBN

This post was originally published by our media partner here.