Legalizing Cannabis Lowers Teen Use; Adult Alcohol Consumption
A recent study reported in The Washington Post found that legalizing cannabis use in a state actually lowers teenage recreational use—defying years of anti-cannabis rhetoric and fear-mongering. In addition, the same study found a correlation between cannabis use and a decrease in alcohol consumption.
Teenage Cannabis Use on Decline
The Washington Post reports on the findings that in 2016 (the most recent year of data available) “6.5 percent of adolescents used [cannabis] on a monthly basis, according to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health. That represents a statistically significant drop from 2014, when the nation’s first recreational marijuana shops opened in Washington state and Colorado.”
Per the sourced article, the last time cannabis use in teenagers fell this low was in 1994—almost 25 years ago.
Cannabis Use Lowers Alcohol Consumption in Adults
The same article reported that in 2016, “55 percent of adults ages 18 and older drank alcohol at least monthly, compared with 56 percent in 2015. While small, that drop was statistically significant, lending some credence to the notion that some adults may be substituting [cannabis] for alcohol. Public health research has generally shown that alcohol use is more harmful to individuals and society than [cannabis] use….”
According to this article in The Business Insider, “More than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes in 2014. There have been zero documented deaths from [cannabis] use alone.” Additionally the article reported “healthy [cannabis] users were not more likely to die earlier than healthy people who did not use cannabis.”
As demonstrated above, the more data that comes out regarding adult consumption of cannabis, the more it shows that many of the anti-cannabis movement’s arguments are not based in fact.
The more cannabis trends are studied, the more facts (and not myths) regarding cannabis will come to life.