Marijuana adolescent use and decriminalization

Abstract Marijuana that is legally available for adults has multiple implications for adolescent substance use. One potential effect that legalization may have is an increase in adolescent use to due increased availability, greater social acceptance, and possibly lower prices.

Marijuana adolescent use and decriminalization

Abstract Marijuana that is legally available for adults has multiple implications for adolescent substance use.

One potential effect that legalization may have is an increase in adolescent use to due increased availability, greater social acceptance, and possibly lower prices.

Legalization may also facilitate the introduction of new formulations of marijuana edible, vaporized and with potentially higher potencies. It is unknown what adolescent consumption patterns will be if marijuana is widely available and marketed in different forms, or what effects different patterns of adolescent use will have on cognition, the development of marijuana use disorders, school performance, and the development of psychotic illnesses.

Also unclear is whether adolescent users will be experiencing higher levels of THC compared with previous generations of users due to higher potencies. While previous studies of the effects of adolescent marijuana use provide some guidance for current policy and public health recommendations, many new studies will be needed that answer questions in the context of use within a legal adult environment.

Claims that marijuana has medicinal benefits create additional challenges for adolescent prevention efforts as they contrast with messages of its harmfulness. Prevention and treatment approaches will need to address perceptions of the safety of marijuana, claims of its medicinal use, and consider family-wide effects as older siblings and parents may increasingly openly consume and advocate for marijuana use.

Guidance for primary care physicians will be needed regarded screening and counseling. Widespread legalization and acceptance of marijuana implies that as law enforcement approaches for marijuana control decline, public health, medical, and scientific efforts to understand and reduce negative consequences of adolescent marijuana use need to be substantially increased to levels commensurate with those efforts for tobacco and alcohol.

This report and subsequent efforts by anti-smoking groups, physicians, and public health agencies resulted in a shift in public perceptions of smoking and was followed by a steady decline of smoking in the United States resulting in 8 million lives being saved since due to tobacco control polices.

The purpose of this commentary is to consider the possible implications of such a shift for adolescent substance use and abuse. In the beginning ofwhen the federal government emphasized that it would not enforce federal bans on marijuana in states that allowed it for medicinal consumption, 4 there were approximately 2, patients with a medical marijuana registration in Colorado.

Statistics and Trends

Within two years of the change in federal policy, the number of persons holding a medical marijuana registration had increased to an estimatedThus, a substantial portion of the United States is experiencing the phenomena of legal adult marijuana use, either through the predominant medicinal route, but also now for recreational consumption in two states.

Dutch youth do have a higher mean level of marijuana use than those of youth in other European countries, however, their levels of use are below that of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France which have all until recently not allowed legal cannabis.

There was also an increase in adolescent treatment seeking for cannabis problems associated with non-penalization, although it is unclear whether this was a causal relationship.

Growing up within 20 kilometers of a marijuana dispensary was also associated with earlier age of onset of marijuana use. The major lessons from the Dutch experience for the United States are that marijuana control policies are likely to evolve, however, full-scale legalization as is now occurring in two states Colorado and Washington is a phenomena that is distinct from the Dutch experience.

One area of major potential difference, is that full legalization and commercialization may substantially reduce the eventual price of marijuana. Recent Analyses of United States Data and Case Reports of Adverse Outcomes A number of manuscripts have analyzed recent United States trends in marijuana attitudes and consumption patterns in relation to medical marijuana laws and have come to differing conclusions regarding their effects.

A recent report analyzing the effect of medical marijuana laws found that states with such laws have higher marijuana use, although it is unclear whether this effect is causal.

Similarly, creating stricter college alcohol policies has been associated with reductions in marijuana use. Marijuana and tobacco use are also highly comorbid and some recent work suggests that changes in marijuana use may impact tobacco use, though the directionality of the relationship also remains unclear.

For example, Allsop et al. Finally, it has recently been suggested that medical marijuana use may be associated with reductions in opioid use.

Scientific Views on Harms of Adolescent Marijuana Use A substantial concern about legalization of adult marijuana use is that it will result in an increase in adolescent use, a group that appears to be most vulnerable to its harmful effects.

A recent review summarized much of the current knowledge regarding the harmful medical and behavioral effects of marijuana consumption 35 Adolescent marijuana use has been associated with impairment in a number of areas: Further, they appear more adversely affected by heavy use than adults.

Instead early use may act as a marker of a more generalized tendency to engage in risky behaviors. Finally, all research on the epidemiology of marijuana use conducted to date in the United States has been conducted in an environment where marijuana use is illegal.

Results of previous studies examining the patterns of marijuana use and associations with other substances, patterns of development of marijuana use disorders, and associations with other psychopathology may not generalize to conditions of widespread legality, an environment where marijuana use has greater social acceptance, is marketed and available in different forms e.

Consider a hypothetical environment where marijuana is legal for adult recreational consumption, widely available, and widely believed to be harmless or even beneficial.Cannabis is the most common illicit drug used worldwide and it is used frequently by Canadian teenagers.

Cannabis use during adolescence can cause functional and structural changes to the developing brain, leading to damage.

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Marijuana use in this age group is strongly linked to: cannabis dependence and other substance use disorders; the initiation and maintenance of tobacco smoking; .

Marijuana use by adolescents has grown steadily as more states enact various decriminalization laws. 2 According to CDC data, more teens now smoke marijuana than cigarettes. 3. Effects of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Adolescent Marijuana Use.

Mar 11,  · Bipartisan legislation was introduced yesterday in the U.S. Senate proposing to change federal law such that states could regulate the medical use of marijuana without fear of prosecution.

Brief Description Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis plant contains the mind-altering chemical deltatetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds.

Marijuana adolescent use and decriminalization

Extracts can also be made from the cannabis plant. Before long, a counterrevolution unfolded, as an army of concerned parents tied paraphernalia’s availability to rising rates of adolescent marijuana use.

Marijuana (cannabis) is the most widely used illegal drug in many developed countries. 1 Medical studies have shown that the active ingredient in marijuana, deltatetrahydrocannabinol (THC), might provide some medical benefits in some patients.

Under the impression that these benefits were substantial, voters in California and Arizona approved initiatives allowing the use of "medical.

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