In news that comes as surprising to no one, a new study reveals that legalization does not lead to higher rates of teen use. I feel like this has been covered before and at great length. Oh look, I’m right. A study conducted by Washington state over the course of a couple years back in 2016 showed that legalization of recreational cannabis in the state had not led to an increase in teen use. In fact, the opposite turned out to be true, in that fewer teens were trying and regularly using cannabis. Another study published in 2017 showed that teen cannabis use was at its lowest number in 20 years!
Yet this argument that legalization is somehow bad for the youth continued to persist, despite all evidence to the contrary. Hopefully a similar and more study conducted on a much grander scale by the University of Kent will put all of this to rest once and for all.
The study was conducted with 100 thousand teenagers in 38 different countries, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, France and Canada. One thing you might notice is that all of these countries have varying degrees of strictness as far as their cannabis laws go. Recreational cannabis is legal in Canada and parts of the US, for instance.
The results were illuminating to say the least. They showed that tough cannabis policies had not bearing on whether or not teens tried it or not. In other words, prohibition is not a deterrent. Do we need to say it one more time for the people in the back? Cannabis prohibition is not a deterrent from cannabis use.
Professor Alexander Stevens who conducted the research said that these results would surely be an asset to other governments who were considering legalization or at the very least decriminalization. Recently more and more countries have been rethinking their previous stances on cannabis prohibition. Surely these results will help fuel the legalization fight in the years to come. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure prohibition proponents will continue to blatantly lie about cannabis. I am a realist after all. Still it’s hard to deny hard data like this, especially when it keeps happening.
Source: The Guardian
Will this new data affect the legalization fight, or will prohibition live on to fight another day? Tell us in the comments!