One of the most common assertions made by opponents of legalizing cannabis is that it will lead to an increase in use in minors despite there having never been any data to back this claim. Now that legalization has been around for several years in the U.S. we can actually take a closer look at what legalization does do and the results have actually been the opposite of those claims. In California, one of the most pro-cannabis states, the rate of teens using cannabis has been on a steady decline since 2011 with 10% of middle schoolers having tried cannabis down to 7.9% in 2013, then down once more to 4.2% in 2015. While full recreational legalization did not officially begin until January of this year the state has been promoting educational campaigns on cannabis for many years now which officials believe to be helping minors make the choice to wait.
Komp agreed that education is key to getting kids to delay the use of alcohol and cannabis until they are of age. “I think kids are figuring out that it’s smarter to stay away from mind-altering substances and cigarettes while they’re young,” she said.