CDC Says The Kids Are All Right: Changing Marijuana Laws Have Had No Effect On Teen Marijuana Use
The weird, wild ride of marijuana as an illegal substance in the U.S. appears to be coming to an end.
There are currently 25 states that allow some form of legal, regulated medical marijuana use, along with four–Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska–that allow recreational use. There are nearly a dozen states with pro-marijuana initiatives on the ballot for this November’s election, including the most populous state in the union, California voting to legalize recreational use also.
Surely Harry Anslinger, the godfather of reefer madness, the prophet of prohibition who kicked off the marijuana mania Americans suffered under for so may decades back in the 1930s is rolling over in his grave.
According to a Pew Research Center poll. Support for legalization is “rapidly outpacing opposition,” which is quite stunning when you consider even the modern era of anti-drug wars that have been fought so hard and so viciously.
Perhaps most heartening to marijuana law sanity supporters–and what may be the final nail in the coffin for opponents–is a recent Centers for Disease Control report showing that middle-aged parents are now more likely to smoke marijuana than their teen children.
What about the children, indeed.
Legalization and decriminalization, far from being a scourge that would lay waste to a generation of teens and turn them all into heroin addicts upon taking their first hit of weed–as some of the more rabid anti-marijuana literature would have you believe–has instead led to a decline in use among the younger set.
The study shows that from 2002 and 2014, 8 percent of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 reported smoking marijuana regularly. Other figures showed that marijuana use has doubled in U.S. adults age 45 to 55, quadrupled for those 55 to 64 and tripled for those 65 and older.
So it looks like the kids are all right, in that they haven’t flocked en masse to scarfing down copious amounts of weed in response to the opening up of legal avenues with which adults can acquire it, as we were warned might happen.
Indeed, with so many people using marijuana to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and even a large number of veterans using it to treat PTSD, you have to wonder at the Drug Enforcement Agency’s recent rejection of re-classifying the plant from a Schedule 1 drug–those that are considered most dangerous and have no known medical value, like heroin and LSD–to something a little less, well, crazy.
And with so many baby boomers reaching for the rolling papers as opposed to the predicted wave of kids, we are still waiting to hear some panicky anti-drug warrior to cry out: “What about the elderly? Won’t someone think of the elderly?”