In states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized, teens are less likely to smoke it, says a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Other recent studies have come to similar conclusions.
Licensed dispensaries are replacing drug dealers in these states, making it harder for teenagers who aren’t of legal age to get their hands on cannabis. However, the study did not find a decrease in teen use when only medical marijuana was legalized.
“Licensed dispensaries require proof of age,” the JAMA study authors wrote. Drug dealers generally do not ID their customers.
The researchers determined the results with data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey between 1993 and 2017. Washington, D.C. and 27 states provided data on teen use before and after changes to medical marijuana laws. Seven states contributed data before and after recreational marijuana laws changed. More than 1 million high school students were included in the study.