For decades, the argument against legalizing marijuana has been that it will lead to more teenagers using it, and that it is the common “entry drug” to hard-core drugs such as heroine or cocaine.
Well, it seems these statements are wrong, and wrong again…
Statistics show since states started legalizing marijuana the number of teenagers smoking marijuana actually went down
Metro comments on the results of the “Monitoring the Future Study” a survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
To the surprise of Nora Volkow, director of NIDA, the results show the opposite of what was expected by those proponents of the “war on drugs”.
The most famous of these would be earmarked attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who gets quite emotional on the matter when he speaks about the reverse in “progress” made over the decades of prohibition. He takes the legalizing of marijuana quite personally, and says it concerns him deeply that states such as Colorado can suggest marijuana is not dangerous.
Sessions was convinced without even a glimmer of any doubt that giving slack on legislation could only lead to more teenagers smoking weed.
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Well, well, it seems statistics don’t agree…
Even though states like Colorado show sales of legal weed to the value of $1 billion over this year, it was not sold to teenagers. On the contrary, teenagers report marijuana ‘scarcest availability’ since 1992. That doesn’t mean 17 to 18-year-old seniors at High School can’t get hold of it, 81% report they can easily get it, but 20 years ago, this figure was 90%.
Use went up slightly amongst 12th grade students, but is still lower than in 2012, when Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize recreational use. Even the latest spurt of legalization didn’t stir much of an interest amongst teenagers.
Lenient legislation doesn’t entice the youth
We can safely say that the idea that less severe legislation encourages youth to use marijuana is overruled by what really happens. So-called “improving the drug’s reputation” does not encourage underage consumption.
These figures baffle Nora Volkow, as she says she has no explanation, and it comes as somewhat of a surprise.
Could it be that our youth is becoming more health conscious after decades of health and “green” movements? Or perhaps numbers will keep confirming what some countries in Europe have been saying for decades: by legalizing substances, they loose their attraction as forbidden fruits to a rebellious youth.
Medicinal use is every patient’s right
Whichever way, medicinal use of cannabis should not be part of the debate on how the youth is affected. It should be the right of every patient to get the best treatment for his or her ailment. Patients should have the right to decide, and take responsibility for their own health instead of leaving the decisions to everyone else but themselves.