Federal Government Unveils Study Results on Teen Marijuana Use in Legal States

The federal government conducted a study on teen marijuana use in legal states in 2016, to see if there was increase and the results are in! The results of the study showed that the teen marijuana use actually DECREASED year over year. In fact, the results of the study from 2016 are the lowest since 2002 in the 12-17 age range.

Did you think that this data would yield this type of information? Is this decrease in teen use in legal states due to giving the children the opportunity to make a choice with proper education?

National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported teen marijuana use at lowest rate since 2002; increase in adult marijuana use coincides with decreases in alcohol use in all age groups, suggesting possible substitution

WASHINGTON — The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that teen marijuana use rates decreased nationally in 2016. Past-month use rates among adults increased slightly, but alcohol use rates among all age groups decreased, indicating the possibility that adults are substituting marijuana for alcohol.

Past-month use rates for the 12-17 age group decreased by 0.5{f1d755e3d686d84b3fba3fb9da3bc25d6eb08724c18385fd50146d58c836a6dd} from 2015 to 6.5{f1d755e3d686d84b3fba3fb9da3bc25d6eb08724c18385fd50146d58c836a6dd} nationally in 2016. This is the lowest level of marijuana use in this age group since 2002. The data also shows a steady decrease since 2014, when the first states to make marijuana legal for adults began allowing regulated retail sales. The full report is available at

“Critics of legalization worry about the message being sent to youth by marijuana policy reform efforts, but the real message is that marijuana should only be used by responsible adults, and it seems to be sinking in. Regulating marijuana for adults reinforces that message and creates effective mechanisms for making it more difficult for teens to obtain marijuana,” said Morgan Fox, senior communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and regulation gives adults the legal option to choose the safer substance.”

February 2017 data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported that the rate of marijuana use among adolescents “has not changed since legalization either in terms of the number of people using or the frequency of use among users.” A study released last week by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy also found that teen marijuana use has not increased in that state. Colorado and Washington were the first states to make marijuana legal and regulated for adults.



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Brian Wroblewski

Brian Wroblewski has a passion for writing, travel, food and family. Since working in and around the cannabis industry since 2008, Brian brings a unique perspective to the cannabis journalism space. With a focus on emerging brands, moving the cannabis industry forward and an undeniable passion for truth in business and journalism, find some of Brian's posts across the web on digital marketing, cannabis and a variety of different topics.

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One Comment

  1. OLD Jeffy hates this, it doesn’t give him any excuse to bust the industry, not that he needs an excuse, he is obsessed about American’s freedom, he hates freedom for any one but himself!

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