Paranoid over weed: unfounded

ILLINOIS: Fears about Illinois’ new medical marijuana law are continuing the popular trend of allowing emotions, rather than data, to dictate opinions on marijuana laws (“Anti-pot campaigns face new obstacle,” Aug. 4). There is no solid evidence to suggest that legalizing medical marijuana increases use among young people. Several studies have evaluated the effects of medical marijuana laws in the states that have them (the earliest, California’s, was passed back in 1996) and none have demonstrated an increase in youth use.

Additionally, changes in marijuana availability have not been linked to changes in youth marijuana use, as asserted by D.A.R.E. president Frank Pegueros. Monitoring the Future survey data indicate that marijuana use among youth has oscillated drastically over the past few decades, despite availability remaining
relatively stable.

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