Teen Use and the Gateway Theory

Reports and Studies

02/27/14 | Correlates of Intentions to Use Cannabis among US High School Seniors in the Case of Cannabis Legalization

A new report in the International Journal of Drug Policy examined whether more high school seniors would use marijuana if it were legally available. The study analyzed Monitoring the Future data and found that 10.6% of high school seniors who don’t currently use marijuana said they would try it. NOTE: The Monitoring the Future question language did not clarify an age restriction (“If marijuana were made legal to use and legally available, which of the following would you be most likely to do?”), which may either imply or lead survey respondents to believe marijuana would be legal for seniors who are 18 years of age. In already-passed laws in Colorado and Washington, and proposed laws in other states, the minimum legal age for purchase or possession is 21.

07/18/13 | Effects of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Adolescent Marijuana Use

Researchers at the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida College of Medicine examined what effect, if any, medical marijuana laws have on teen use. U.S. anti-drug officials like the drug czar have said such laws decrease the perception of risk and therefore lead to an increase in teen use. Looking at data from 2003-2011 from Montana, Rhode Island, Michigan, and Delaware, these researchers found "no discernible pattern suggesting an effect on either self-reported prevalence or frequency of marijuana use." They conclude that passage of medical marijuana laws does not measurably affect adolescent marijuana use.

04/26/13 | Do medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use? Replication study and extension.

Replicating a prior study, but controlling for state characteristics and measurement error, researchers found that medical marijuana laws have little discernible impact on teen marijuana use or perceptions of the risk of marijuana use in those states. In fact, their research showed that passage of medical marijuana laws actually resulted in a slight decrease in teen marijuana use.

07/13/12 | Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use

Using data from the national and state Youth Risk Behavior Surveys and other government sponsored data collections, researchers from the Universities of Washington, Oregon, and Colorado at Denver found no association between medical marijuana laws and increased teen marijuana use. They concluded, "[o]ur results are not consistent with the hypothesis that legalization leads to increased use of marijuana by teenagers."

07/13/12 | Do medical marijuana laws increase marijuana use? Replication study and extension.

Replicating prior published study results that showed higher marijuana use rates in states with medical marijuana laws, researchers examined the link between those laws and teen marijuana use. Results showed that medical marijuana laws "decreased past-month use among adolescents by 0.53 percentage points and had no discernible effect on the perceived riskiness of monthly use," leading the authors to conclude that evidence linking medical marijuana laws to increased teen marijuana use was "limited."



08/06/11 |
Time to Talk to Your Mom about Pot!

08/06/11 |
The Case For Medical Marijuana

08/06/11 |
Legalized Pot Is More Than a Tax Bonanza

08/06/11 |
The Marijuana Closet

08/06/11 |
3 Myths About Marijuana



03/13/14 |
Medical Marijuana in California High School

03/13/14 |
More on Marijuana in California High School

03/12/14 |
Marijuana Two-Minute Truths: Gateway Myth (MPP-TV)

02/19/14 |
New Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Do Not Increase Teen Use

02/11/14 |
MPP Explains Increase in Youth Marijuana Use






   Please leave this field empty