According to a new survey released by the federal government, teen marijuana use is the lowest it’s been in over 20 years.

Only 6.5 percent of kids between the ages of 12 and 17 reported having used marijuana in the past month, which is the lowest the rate has been since 1994.

The survey is put out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and it shows marijuana use has slowly gone up over the past two decades for adults over the age of 18. Considering many states have legalized recreational and/or medical marijuana in the past 10 years, it would seem it’s had little effect on adult use and hasn’t caused teen use to rise at all. That’s the opposite of what many critics of legalization said would happen when states started to legalize, and they still say it today.

“Critics of legalization worry about the message being sent to youth by marijuana policy reform efforts, but the real message is that marijuana should only be used by responsible adults, and it seems to be sinking in,” Morgan Fox, a Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) spokesperson, said in a statement. “Regulating marijuana for adults reinforces that message and creates effective mechanisms for making it more difficult for teens to obtain marijuana.”

With surveys consistently showing legalizing marijuana does little to harm teens, it’s going to get harder and harder for opponents of legalization to realistically argue that there’s a reason to be concerned about the kids. Kids didn’t seem to have much trouble getting high before states started legalizing, and with legal markets shutting down many black markets, legalization might actually be causing teens to use the substance less.

The survey also found adults are consuming less alcohol, which could mean they’re drinking less and smoking more.

“Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and regulation gives adults the legal option to choose the safer substance,” Fox said.

Source: The 420 Times
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