Teen odds of using marijuana dip with recreational use laws

Associated Press

Chicago — New research suggests legalizing recreational marijuana for U.S. adults in some states may have slightly reduced teens’ odds of using pot.

In this April 20, 2016, file photo, a man smokes a marijuana joint at a party celebrating weed in Seattle.

One reason may be that it’s harder and costlier for teens to buy pot from licensed dispensaries than from dealers.

The researchers analyzed national youth health and behavior surveys from 1993 through 2017 that included questions about marijuana use. Responses from 1.4 million high school students were included.

Thirty-three states have passed medical marijuana laws and 11 have legalized recreational use, many during the study years. There was no change linked with medical marijuana but the odds of teen use declined almost 10% after recreational marijuana laws were enacted.

About 20% of high school students use marijuana, the latest survey shows.

The study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.