Top Pro & Con Arguments


Legalizing marijuana increases use by teens, with harmful results.

The percentage of 12- to 17-year-olds using marijuana is higher in every legal marijuana state than the national average. For example, 16.21% of Colorado teens and 18.86% of teens in Alaska reported marijuana use in the past year, compared to an average of 12.29% for the United States overall in 2015-2016. [39] Colorado past-month teen marijuana use jumped 20% in the two-year average after marijuana was legalized for adults. [78]


Marijuana is especially dangerous for young people, because human brains are not fully developed until around age 25 (four years past the legal age in states that allow recreational marijuana). [79][80] The American Academy of Pediatrics said that adverse effects of teen marijuana use include “impaired short-term memory and decreased concentration, attention span, and problem solving, which clearly interfere with learning. Alterations in motor control, coordination, judgment, reaction time, and tracking ability have also been documented; these may contribute to unintentional deaths and injuries.” [156] Studies show that students who use cannabis perform worse in school. [81]

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