Opponents to marijuana legalization just knew it would happen. If pot were legal for adults, teens were going to have easier access to it and teen drug use would increase. Even among those who supported legalization, it made a fair amount of sense to some.
That hasn’t happened.
Marijuana use among high school students has remained flat despite the implementation of a series of legalization measures across the country, new data show.
The Monitoring the Future Survey, released Wednesday, showed there has not been any significant change in marijuana prevalence this year across 8th, 10th and 12th graders, with each group reporting daily cannabis use of 1.1 percent, 3 percent and 6 percent.
There has also been significant decline in the percentage of students who believe marijuana to be a dangerous drug.
Over the past 10 years, the percentage of 8th, 10th and 12th graders who view cannabis as “carrying a great risk of harm” has dropped from 74 percent to 58 percent, 66 percent to 43 percent and 58 percent to 32 percent respectively.
These are welcome statistics for pro-legalization activists in other states who are facing the same pushback.
Of course, any teens using drugs illegally is a bad thing. Make no mistake on that. Whether one agrees with the age limits or not is irrelevant, the fact is that there are ways to change those rather than just ignoring them. Doing that can lead to all sorts of other problems, such as a juvenile record.
The important point is that legalization for adults may have increased access for high school kids looking to spark up, but it hasn’t increased desire among that same demographic. These are kids who have been bombarded since the womb with anti-drug campaigns, after all. Is this the reason the demand is in check?