False information has been used to scare people away from cannabis for years, but one myth perpetuated by anti-marijuana groups to this day is that legalizing and regulating cannabis would increase teen use. Finally there is some clear data that proves this to be a fallacy. While adult use has grown as you'd expect with more states legalizing and educating people, teens aged 12-17 are using cannabis at their lowest levels in over 20 years. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows us that only 6.5% of adolescents use marijuana on a monthly basis. The figures have not been that low since 1994. Legalization is still young, but this data is enough to show that regulation works.
Public health experts tend to worry more about adolescent than adult drug use because adolescent brains are still developing. Teen drug use is linked to a host of health problems later in life, including addiction, criminal behavior and cognitive deficits.
The marijuana trend defies the warnings of those who oppose its legalization, who have long predicted that loosening restrictions on marijuana would “send the wrong message” to teens and increase teen drug use.