Study Finds Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Boost Teen Pot Use
Univeristy of Oregon professor says there’s no proof that legal uses of marijuana boost use by high school students
Medical marijuana laws in Oregon and other states cannot be blamed for an increase in teen marijuana use since 2005, according to a new study by a University of Oregon economics professor and two collaborators. Despite anecdotal reports that teens are obtaining medical marijuana, the analysis of national data found no evidence that a state’s legalization of pot for medical uses increases the probability that its high school students will use it recreationally, UO professor Benjamin Hansen said this week.
Hansen worked with fellow economics professors in Montana and Colorado to analyze national data on teen marijuana use from 1993 to 2009. Their findings are reported in a nonpeer-reviewed working paper published by the Institute for the Study of Labor. They reached their conclusion by comparing such use before and after the legalization of medical marijuana in 13 states, including Oregon, he said.