Recreational Marijuana Legalization and Use Among California Adolescents: Findings From a Statewide Survey

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 82(1), 103–111 (2021).

Published Online: February 15, 2021

Abstract

Objective:

The legalization of recreational marijuana use and retail sales raises concerns about possible effects on marijuana use among adolescents. We evaluated the effects of recreational marijuana legalization (RML) in California in November 2016 on use among adolescents and investigated subgroup differences in these effects.Method:

We analyzed data from successive cross-sectional samples of 7th, 9th, and 11th grade students (N = 3,330,912) who participated in the California Healthy Kids Survey from 2010–2011 to 2018–2019. Participants reported grade, sex, ethnicity, race, and lifetime and past-30-day marijuana use.Results:

Multilevel analyses showed that RML was associated with increases in the likelihood of lifetime (odds ratio = 1.18, 95% CI [1.15, 1.21], p < .01) and past-30-day marijuana use (odds ratio = 1.23, 95% CI [1.20, 1.26], p < .01) relative to previous downward trends. RML was more strongly associated with increases in prevalence of marijuana use among 7th versus 9th and 11th graders, females versus males, non-Hispanic versus Hispanic youth, and White versus African American, American Indian/Native Alaskan, and multiracial youth. Overall, RML was not significantly associated with frequency of past-30-day use among users, although stronger positive associations between RML and frequency of use were found for 11th graders, Asian Americans, and African Americans. The association was weaker for females.Conclusions:

RML in California was associated with an increase in adolescent marijuana use in 2017–2018 and 2018–2019. Demographic subgroup differences in these associations were observed. Evidence-based prevention programs and greater local control on retail marijuana sales may help to reduce marijuana availability and use among adolescents.

Am J Prev Med.2020 Feb;58(2):e63-e69. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.09.020.

Recreational Marijuana Availability in Oregon and Use Among Adolescents

Mallie J Paschall 1Joel W Grube 2

Abstract

Introduction: This study investigated whether legalization of recreational marijuana sales and retail availability of marijuana in Oregon counties were associated with higher levels of marijuana use and related beliefs among adolescents.

Methods: Biennial data for 6th, 8th, and 11th graders from the 2010-2018 Student Wellness Survey in 35 Oregon counties (n=247,403) were analyzed in 2019 to assess changes in past 30-day marijuana use and beliefs (e.g., perceived availability of marijuana) in counties that allowed recreational marijuana sales in unincorporated areas beginning in October 2015 versus counties that did not. Analyses were also conducted with 2016 and 2018 Student Wellness Survey data (n=101,419) to determine whether the association between allowing recreational marijuana sales and marijuana use could be accounted for by retail marijuana outlet density and beliefs.

Results: Higher rates of past 30-day marijuana use and more favorable beliefs were observed in counties that allow recreational marijuana sales in unincorporated areas, both before and after legalization of recreational sales in 2015. The prevalence of past 30-day marijuana use increased, relative to the downward secular trend, after legalization both in counties that did and did not allow recreational marijuana sales. There were parallel changes in beliefs favorable to marijuana use. Analyses with 2016 and 2018 Student Wellness Survey data suggested that the association between allowing recreational marijuana sales and past 30-day marijuana use could be accounted for by retail marijuana outlet density and beliefs.

Conclusions: Legalization and greater retail availability of recreational marijuana are positively associated with marijuana use among adolescents.

Youth use increased in legalized states as compared to states without legal recreational marijuana

Our MissiAssociation Between Recreational Marijuana Legalization in the United States and Changes in Marijuana Use and Cannabis Use Disorder From 2008 to 2016on

Question

How did marijuana use and cannabis use disorder change during 2008 to 2016 after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States?

Findings

In this multilevel, difference-in-difference survey study with 505 796 respondents comparing marijuana use before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States, the proportion of respondents aged 12 to 17 years reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%, while the proportion of respondents 26 years or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those with cannabis use disorder, from 0.90% to 1.23%.

Meaning

This study’s findings suggest that possible increases in the risk for cannabis use disorder among adolescent users and increases in frequent use and cannabis use disorder among adults after legalization of recreational marijuana use may raise public health concerns and warrant ongoing study.

Youth being more likely to use potent products in legalized states 

Abstract
Background—Alternative methods for consuming cannabis (e.g., vaping and edibles) have
become more popular in the wake of U.S. cannabis legalization. Specific provisions of legal
cannabis laws (LCL) (e.g., dispensary regulations) may impact the likelihood that youth will use
alternative methods and the age at which they first try the method – potentially magnifying or
mitigating the developmental harms of cannabis use.
Methods—This study examined associations between LCL provisions and how youth consume
cannabis. An online cannabis use survey was distributed using Facebook advertising, and data
were collected from 2630 cannabis-using youth (ages 14–18). U.S. states were coded for LCL
status and various LCL provisions. Regression analyses tested associations among lifetime use and
age of onset of cannabis vaping and edibles and LCL provisions.
Results—Longer LCL duration (ORvaping: 2.82, 95% CI: 2.24, 3.55; ORedibles: 3.82, 95% CI:
2.96, 4.94), and higher dispensary density (ORvaping: 2.68, 95% CI: 2.12, 3.38; ORedibles: 3.31,

The use of more potent products is associated with greater risk of addiction (and if addicted, escaping the mental health consequences becomes obviously more difficult)

Changes in cannabis potency and first-time admissions to drug treatment: a 16-year study in the Netherlands

Conclusions: In this 16-year observational study, we found positive time-dependent associations between changes in cannabis potency and first-time cannabis admissions to drug treatment. These associations are biologically plausible, but their strength after adjustment suggests that other factors are also important.

Youth Use

Marijuana use among young people in “legal” states is alarmingly high.

Marijuana youth use is INCREASING!!!!

People can have different opinions, but the statement “Every single study, in every single state, has shown teen use either unchanged or decreased once the regulated market displaces the existing unregulated cannabis market” is just wrong.

Here is one from Oregon: “New research from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation suggests that legalization and greater retail availability of recreational marijuana are positively associated with marijuana use among adolescents.”

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200121/Legalization-and-retail-availability-in-Oregon-linked-to-higher-levels-of-adolescent-marijuana-use.aspx

Here is another one: Problematic use of marijuana among adolescents and adults increased after the legalization of recreational marijuana use, according to a new study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191113153049.htm

And that JAMA peds letter was debunked. It didn’t look at the commercial sales period and didn’t compare use vs states that didn’t legalize. The trends in teen use states with commercial markets are worse than in states that didn’t legalize.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2754819

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2754817

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/2754818?widget=personalizedcontent&previousarticle=2754816