Reformers were right! Apparently, marijuana legalization does decrease access for America’s teens.
Despite marijuana’s increased availability across the U.S., an annual survey performed by Monitoring the Future showed the majority of America’s high school students admit facing the most restricted access to the psychoactive plant since George H.W. Bush held the highest office in the land.
Initially cultivated in 1992 as a means of examining trending drug use among America’s teenagers, the 2016 survey discovered a new low regarding youth access to marijuana. That’s right, as 1 in 5 Americans enjoys greater freedom and access to some form of legalized marijuana, only 34.6% of America’s 8th graders and 64% of today’s 10th graders admitted to easily accessing today’s potent pot.
Dumbfounded by the not-so-heady results, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, told U.S. News & World Report:
“I don’t have an explanation. This is somewhat surprising. We had predicted based on the changes in legalization, culture in the U.S. as well as decreasing perceptions among teenagers that marijuana was harmful that [accessibility and use]would go up. But it hasn’t gone up.”
In other words … Dr. Volkow’s prohibition-laced hypothesis that, “Legalization will likely increase the already substantial proportion of teens that use marijuana,” was just another erroneous assumption by a misguided anti-legalization zealot.
Though skeptics of real reform have continually beaten the drum of despair and doom, decrying marijuana legalization all as a slippery slope for America’s younger teens, this recent survey by Monitoring the Future is just the latest in a long line of scientific studies to exonerate legalization as a gateway to early access and use.
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