Have Medical Marijuana Laws Led to Increased Use in Teens?

Findings based on 11 separate studies using data from four, large-scale U.S. surveys
Findings based on 11 separate studies using data from four, large-scale U.S. surveys

HealthDay News — Current evidence does not show that medical marijuana laws (MMLs) enacted through 2014 have led to increases in adolescent marijuana use, according to a review published online February 22 in Addiction.

Aaron L. Sarvet, from Columbia University in New York, and colleagues, conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies estimating the effect of U.S. medical marijuana laws on past-month marijuana use prevalence among adolescents. 

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The researchers found that none of the 11 studies included in the meta-analysis found significant estimates of pre-post MML changes in marijuana use prevalence among adolescents compared with changes in non-MML states over the same time period. All 4 studies comparing MML with non-MML states found higher rates of past-month marijuana use in MML states pre-MML passage.

"Synthesis of the current evidence does not support the hypothesis that U.S. MMLs until 2014 have led to increases in adolescent marijuana use prevalence," the authors write.

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