Although politicians keep issuing warnings about the consumption of marijuana amongst teenagers, surveys show that marijuana consumption among teenagers is dwindling after the recreational legalization of cannabis.
In February, Statistics Canada’s findings showed that marijuana consumption has significantly dropped in adolescents aged 15-17 years by about ten percent, a year after the country legalized adult-use marijuana. And in the U.S., the state of Denver also has similar results.
In a survey carried out in 2019 involving 537 teenagers, Denver City officials were statistically measuring how their High Costs campaign, which is focused on educating the youth about marijuana, has affected marijuana consumption among the young adults. The survey findings revealed that 81% of teenagers in Denver between the age of 13-17 do not use marijuana. And only 18% of the male generation in that age bracket said that they were using cannabis, which is a decrease from the previous year’s findings, 27%.
The executive director of Denver Excise and Licenses, Ashley Kilroy, said that other cities and states turned to Denver to learn how to regulate marijuana after Denver successfully became the first major city to legalize retail marijuana. Kilroy has been responsible for overseeing marijuana regulation in Denver since 2014.
As we near the election day, marijuana legalization has become a hot topic of discussion, and during last week’s Democratic Presidential debate, marijuana legalization took center stage. The issue of teenagers having free access to marijuana and damaging their brain has been a bone of contention at both the state and federal level. Mike Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York, said that the reason he is opposed to removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is due to the damage it can inflict on the young.
Bloomberg further said that people should listen to doctors and scientists when they say to go slowly on marijuana since there is not enough research or evidence. He noted that it is nonsensical to move ahead with legalization when we do not know the science of cannabis.
A study conducted in Canada showed that adolescents who developed cannabis use disorder (CUD) later in life had increased levels of a brain protein which is connected to Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and neural inflammation. It was also found that consumption of marijuana among young people could lead to decreased cognitive function and that it could be worse than alcohol for young people’s brains.
JAMA Pediatrics published a study that showed that marijuana legalization might discourage teen marijuana consumption. The latest data released by Denver shows that 57% of the teens said that they had not used marijuana before, and 24% said that they have tried cannabis before but are not currently using weed.
Kilroy said that he is hoping that their effort to educate the youth to wait until they are above 21 can be an example that other states across the U.S. should adopt. Use facts instead of scare tactics to educate the youth about marijuana, he adds.
Industry watchers believe that cannabis companies like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) fully support the approach of being upfront when talking to kids about marijuana since those kids can tell what is true and what isn’t by using the internet.
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