Tuesday, June 19, 2012
As medical marijuana laws roll across the nation in a huge wave of compassion and choice (there are more than a dozen states considering it), there always seems to be a corresponding wave of OMG THE TEENS!!! WHAT WILL WE DO ABOUT THE TEENS???? THEY'RE GOING TO SMOKE MORE POT!!! OMGOMGOMG THE TEENS!!! It verges on hysteria in some crowds, including a Tucson crowd I found myself in the midst of once.
Well, it turns out not all that many people have actually studied the effects of medical marijuana laws on teens. A couple of studies have shown that teens in MMJ states smoke more pot, but those studies didn't look at data before MMJ laws, ignoring the fact that in many of those states teens already smoked more before the MMJ laws. Now a team of researchers from Oregon State University, University of Montana and University of Colorado Denver have published an analysis looking at teen drug behavior in MMJ states before and after the laws passed.
Guess what? They found found no evidence teens smoke more pot after passage of MMJ laws. The difference MMJ laws make in teen drug behavior are "never statistically distinguishable from zero." That's Scientific for "teens don't smoke more weed just because MMJ laws pass." The proof this analysis is based on real science is clear from the fact that they used this formula:
Marijuana Useist = β0 + β1MMLst + X1istβ2 + X2stβ3 + vs + wt + Θs ∙ t + εist
Anyway, STFU naysayers. Read the analysis.
Then please run outside and yell, OMG OMG OMG THE TEENS!!! THEY AREN'T SMOKING MORE POT SINCE WE PASSED OUR MMJ LAW!!! OMG OMG THE TEENS ARE SAFE!!! IT"S OK!! CALM DOWN EVERYONE!!!