Top Pro & Con Arguments

Pro

Legalizing marijuana results in decreased teen marijuana use.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine found that “the rates of marijuana use by young people are falling despite the fact more US states are legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana use and the number of adults using the drug has increased.” [38] Marijuana use among 8th graders in Washington state decreased following legalization in 2012, from 9.8 percent to 7.3 percent in 2014/2016, according to a Dec. 2018 report from RAND. [254] A study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that past-year marijuana use decreased by 17%, from 15.8% in 2002 to 13.1% in 2014, among US kids ages 12 to 17. [37][41] Colorado teens between 12 and 17 years old reported a nearly 12% drop in marijuana use just two years after adult use was legalized, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. [39][40]

 

The Marijuana Policy Project, an organization that leads marijuana legalization campaigns, said, “Study after study has confirmed that marijuana policy reforms do not cause rates of youth marijuana use to increase… The most in-depth state surveys suggest modest decreases in rates of youth marijuana use in Colorado and Washington.” [42] Even though retail marijuana shops opened in Colorado and Washington in 2014, past-year marijuana use among teens in those states was lower in 2015-2016 than in 2014-2015. [39]

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