Young people living in localities with operational medical cannabis dispensaries are no more likely than their counterparts to consume marijuana, according to data published in the journal Cannabis.
Researchers affiliated with the University of Illinois assessed the relationship between state-licensed dispensaries and teen marijuana use in a midwestern state over a three-year period. They reported lower rates of teen cannabis use in zip codes with medical cannabis dispensaries as compared to those localities without dispensaries.
Authors concluded: “This study showed the association of adolescent cannabis use and the presence of a dispensary at the zip code level, which may be more precise than taking a state average for cannabis prevalence, as done in national studies. … This study found no evidence for increased cannabis use among youth living in zip codes with active medical cannabis dispensaries. In fact, 12th graders living in zip codes with dispensaries had lower past-year and past-30-day cannabis use. Additional research should monitor how evolving cannabis policies influence adolescent cannabis use.”
NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “These latest findings add to