A favorite tactic frequently used by anti-pot pundits in their rants about the supposed dangers of legalizing marijuana is to talk about how legalizing will encourage teenagers to smoke.
Conservative politician Andy Harris summarized this tactic in a speech given at the Heritage Foundation when he said: “relaxing laws clearly leads to more teenage drug use.”
“It should be intuitively obvious to everyone that if you legalize marijuana for adults, more children will use marijuana because the message that it’s dangerous will be blunted.”
Unfortunately for Harris and the rest of his ilk, results from the 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey were just published.
And as surprising as it may be to cannabis fearmongers like Harris, the study finds absolutely no increase in the number of teens using marijuana—even after its legalization in several states.
The survey, which has been conducted every year since 1975, monitors the use of alcohol, drugs, and other substances among young people living in the U.S.
As summarized by an article in The Washington Post, this year’s study revealed “that past-year use of alcohol and illicit drugs other than marijuana continued their two-decade-long decline among America’s 8th-, 10th- and 12-th graders.”
Despite seeing a less dramatic decrease this year than in previous years, the numbers of teens using marijuana in the U.S. has also been steadily declining over the past few years.
“Teen marijuana use has fallen slightly over the past five years, at a time when four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana and 23 others allow medical use,” The Washington Post said.
A statement released by researchers involved with the survey summarize the project’s key findings:
“The results from the latest national survey . . . show that some important improvements are taking place. The use of both alcohol and cigarettes reached their lowest points since the study began in 1975.”
“Use of several particularly dangerous illicit drugs—including MDMA (ecstasy, Molly), heroin, amphetamines and synthetic marijuana—also showed a decline this year. Marijuana use, however, remained level.”
Now that there are published statistics showing that legalizing pot has so far led to absolutely zero increase in the numbers of teens smoking weed, anti-pot fear mongers may need to find another myth on which to base their propaganda.
(Photo Credit: dailymail.co.uk)