New Study Finds Marijuana Legalization in Washington Did Not Lead to More Kids Smoking Pot

One of the most common arguments against legalizing recreational marijuana is that children would have easier access to cannabis and start using at a much greater rate. Proponents for marijuana legalization say that's not true, since marijuana in legal states is sold through dispensaries with tight regulations. So who's right?

Well according to a new study, it's the marijuana proponents.

As part of the law that legalized recreational marijuana in Washington, a state think tank is required to conduct a survey about how legalization has affected a number of issues from driving while high to using cannabis while pregnant. One of those issues is marijuana use amongst those who were underage. 

According to the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP), students at the sixth, eight, 10th and 12th grades do not use marijuana more than they did prior to legalization. In fact, in some instances students were actually using marijuana less than before legalization. This is actually in line with a recent national survey from 2016 which found that only 17 percent of American sophomores in high school had used marijuana in the past month, whereas that number was 20 percent in 2010. 

In fact, the WSIPP found that marijuana legalization hadn't affected any of the areas in their recent study, including number of people who entered treatment for marijuana issues and criminal convictions related to cannabis. 

So next time an anti-legalization advocate tells you to think about the children, tell them that you have and that legalization doesn't affect that at all.

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