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  #1  
Old 10-01-2017, 18:25
perro-salchicha614 perro-salchicha614 is offline
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New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

One of the classic arguments used by anti-pot politicians and pundits is that legalization would harm young people. The argument they make is that if cannabis is legal, it’ll encourage teens to smoke more. But the data doesn’t back it up. In fact, the National Institutes of Health just published new data on teen drug use. And the results reveal that teens don’t smoke more weed despite the fact that cannabis is becoming legal in more places than ever before.

The Data: Teens Don’t Smoke More Weed

The data comes from the 2016 Monitoring the Future survey. This annual survey gauges the use of drugs among young people in the United States.

Here are some highlights from this year’s study:
  • Marijuana use in the past month among eighth graders dropped. Last year, 6.5% of teens in that age group used cannabis. This year, that number is down to 5.4%.
  • Daily marijuana use among eighth-graders fell from 1.1% in 2015 to 0.7% in 2016.
  • Cannabis use among tenth graders was about the same this year as it was last year. But researchers pointed out that this stable number is the lowest it’s been in more than two decades.
  • Use of marijuana among high school seniors is also holding steady. Among teens in this group, 6% report daily use and 22.5% said they’ve used marijuana in the last month. Those stats are basically the same as last year’s numbers.

The overall message communicated by these numbers is clear. Marijuana legalization does not lead to higher use among teens and young people. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Cannabis use among teens is lower now than it’s been in decades. And in 2016, teen use either remained steady or decreased.

What Do The Numbers Mean?

This study has some important political implications. That’s because one of the go-to arguments by anti-pot spokespeople is that legalization will harm young people.

This argument was in full force this fall, especially in states where people were voting on new cannabis bills. For example, a group of politicians and law enforcement agents from Colorado spoke out against legalization in Arizona.

They said that there’s been a “dramatic increase in youth use in Colorado.” And they used that claim to urge voters to say no to the state’s legalization bill.

Similarly, a pharmaceutical company that makes a highly addictive drug called Fentanyl spoke out against legalization bills. And the company’s argument? Cannabis legalization would harm children and young people.

Clearly, this is still a myth that has a lot of traction. But the numbers from this year’s Monitoring the Future survey show just how false this myth is.

“We’ve always argued that taking marijuana out of the unregulated criminal market and putting sales into the hands of responsible retailers would actually make it harder for young people to get,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority.

“The new data bear this out. And it’s just common sense. Under legalization, businesses have every incentive to follow the rules and make sure their customers are of legal age lest they lose their lucrative licenses. Conversely, black market dealers don’t care about the IDs in their customers’ wallets. They only care about the money in there.”

12/16/2016
Chuck Ludley
Green Rush Daily
https://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/...eed-legalized/
  #2  
Old 11-01-2017, 12:40
dr ACE dr ACE is offline
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Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

More excellent news that makes sense, finally people are opening their eyes and seeing the light
  #3  
Old 11-01-2017, 12:51
perro-salchicha614 perro-salchicha614 is offline
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Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

Yep... I found it particularly ironic (but not surprising) that a company that makes fentanyl was speaking out against legalization. In the US, it is quite common to see people twisting moralistic arguments for their own financial benefit.
  #4  
Old 11-01-2017, 17:10
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Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

Historically speaking the greatest driver of increased youth drug use has been anti-drug campaigns. Prohibition of alcohol saw a massive increase in youth hospital admissions for alcohol and led to youths becoming involved in the smuggling trade. Similarly anti glue sniffing campaigns in the 1950's created a glue sniffing problem that hadn't existed before the campaigns.

I'm not convinced that education is the problem however, but rather how we educate. Anti drug campaigns seem to revolve around worst case social outcomes. "Don't take drugs or you'll end up homeless and alone!" type of scenarios. The problem with this type of education is that people cannot understand them. If you haven't been homeless, how do you properly appreciate the circumstances that led to it?

We should be teaching how psychoactive substances work in compulsory biology classes in schools. Compulsory because the brain is an organ that we rely on throughout our lives. We don't fully understand what different parts of the brain perform different functions, but we do understand the basics of neurons and neurotransmitters, and we should teach that. It's really not that complicated. Neuron A sends neurotransmitters to neuron B, neuron B then considers how activated it is by said neurotransmitters, and if it's sufficiently activated it fires its action potential and sends neurotransmitters to neuron C. Simple, I wrote that in one sentence. Psychoactive drugs manipulate this process. There's obviously more to it than that, but that is the basis of it, and it's simple enough for anyone to understand.

We need to stop telling people "drugs are bad" and assuming that they are too stupid to understand the complexities of them. We talk all the time about making informed decisions, but when it comes to drug use we don't inform, we attempt to scare and intimidate. That approach just makes youths think "If they are bad and people still do them they must be really good." and they aren't wrong. There is no communication of the fact that the reason they are bad is tied up in them making you feel good. There's no communication of the fact that in many cases they are much worse, and why they are, if your brain is still developing as is the case in youths.

We need to drop the hysteria and up the informing. Abstinence only sex education that distorts and misrepresents facts has proven to be ineffective over a number of years, while comprehensive sex education has had positive outcomes in both delayed initiation of sexual activity and decreased occurrences of unprotected sexual activity. This demonstrates clearly that youth are able to intelligently consider properly delivered educational material and make informed decisions. Why would it be different in the case of drugs?

I'm not sure the legal status of the drug matter so much as how we educate. The legal status has implications in terms of criminalising users for a personal choice, and monitoring of the supply for adulterants, and those are important issues that must be addressed. I suspect it is easier to deliver informative education about drugs in a legalised format because someone, somewhere would no doubt accuse educators of promoting illegal drug use by delivering informative education on the subject.

Human nature isn't as intuitive as people would believe. Tough on crime campaigns for example don't work. Never have worked. Three strikes is a great example, it's supposed to be an incentive not to commit violent crimes, it instead motivates greater violence in the crime to ensure witnesses don't testify against the perpetrators. Lengthy jail terms that emphasise punishment have higher recidivism rates than shorter terms that emphasise rehabilitation. When a person becomes depressed they lose their motivation to change their circumstances, when that is in fact exactly what they need to do. When a person becomes addicted to drugs they feel like they need the drug, when that in fact is exactly what is causing the problem. In the case of drug education the urge to try and scare youth away from it is similarly the wrong response, we instead need to stay calm and rational, and explain exactly what it does in an impartial way, and trust that the youth are able to make informed choices, and support them if they make the wrong choice to get back on a healthy path.

Sorry for the long tldr post, I don't think I wandered too far from the topic though. This is about drug legalisation, and reducing harmful drug use in youth. We should apply evidence based approaches to the problem and ignore the instincts that may cause more harm than it prevents.

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Very cogent argument that incorporates a variety of examples. Well done.
  #5  
Old 11-01-2017, 19:54
dr ACE dr ACE is offline
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Re: New Data Finds Teens Don't Smoke More Weed When It's Legalized

I think one of the biggest peoblems lies in the hypocrisy of our societys. Caffeine is a drug consumed on daily bases yet no-one ever teaches kids this fact or the fact that it is addictive,so why should they believe anything their (wired on caffeine) teacher tells them about illegal drugs

Last edited by dr ACE; 11-01-2017 at 20:00.

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