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Does Legalization Boost Teen Marijuana Use? New at Reason

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run Reason

When the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) indicated that marijuana use by teenagers in Colorado rose after the state legalized the drug for recreational use in 2012, prohibitionists trumpeted the results, even though the change was not statistically significant. Drug warriors were notably quieter when subsequent NSDUH data indicated that adolescent consumption in Colorado fell after state-licensed marijuana stores began serving the recreational market.

That change was not statistically significant either, underlining the uncertainty about the impact of legalization on underage consumption. Jacob Sullum notes that while it is plausible that legalization would increase adolescent use by making marijuana more socially acceptable (although probably not cooler) or by making it available from legal buyers 21 or older, so far there is little evidence that is happening.

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