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Legal medical marijuana doesn't increase risk of pot use among teens

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding drug use, crime and marijuana in particular in this country. The legalization of medical marijuana is a political issue and, therefore, the matter can become all foggy with conflicting points. But a recent study suggests that legal marijuana dispensaries in Colorado and in other states aren't the danger that some anti-marijuana folks might think.

Many people who are for strict drug laws, including laws against medical marijuana, use the well-being of youth as a driving force behind their arguments. They believe that by legalizing certain drugs, even for just a minority of people, they are sending a message to youth that drugs are acceptable and making it easier for them to get and use the drug illegally.

A study conducted by researchers in Denver, Oregon and Montana looked at teen marijuana use in areas where medical marijuana is legal and, therefore, medical dispensaries exist. Based on anti-drug groups' theories, the study would have found that teen marijuana use was higher in areas with legal dispensaries. The researchers came up with a contradictory finding: there was no increase in teen pot use in the areas of concern.

If the study is correct in its findings, it sounds like legislators who continue to fight against the legalization of medical marijuana in certain states and the U.S. overall will need to find a new point to support their argument. It's important that laws, especially laws that can affect the quality of life of certain ill people, are not based on misconceptions and unfounded fears.

Source: Medical Daily, "Medical Marijuana Is Not Causing Increased Teen Drug Use," Charles Poladian, June 18, 2012

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