We looked to see if people who lived in states where it was illegal, but resided next to ones where it became legal, were more likely to have changed their views.
But the rate of change has been no different in states that legalized marijuana than in others.
Laws that legalized recreational marijuana were associated with an 8% drop in the number of high schoolers who said they used marijuana in the last 30 days, and a 9% drop in the number who said they'd used at least 10 times in the last 30 days, according to the paper published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday."Just to be clear we found no effect on teen use following legalization for medical purposes, but evidence of a possible reduction in use following legalization for recreational purposes," said Mark Anderson, an associate professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, who was first author of the paper.
The paper involved analyzing data, from 1993 to 2017, on about 1.4 million high school students in the United States from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys."Because many recreational marijuana laws have been passed so recently, we do observe limited post-treatment data for some of these states," Anderson said.
American views on marijuana have shifted incredibly rapidly. residents offered their approval, transforming marijuana legalization from a libertarian fantasy into a mainstream cause. Over the last quarter-century, 10 states have legalized recreational marijuana, while 22 states have legalized medical marijuana. Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that, in 2002, about 10 percent of adults reported using marijuana the previous year. But that increase is too small to have had much of an impact on attitudes.
Thirty years ago, marijuana legalization seemed like a lost cause. So why has public opinion changed dramatically in favor of legalization? And it’s not about older, more conservative Americans being replaced by younger generations who are more familiar with marijuana.
Just before the number of Americans supporting legalization began to increase, we found a sharp increase in the proportion of articles about marijuana that discussed its medical uses.
In the 1980s, the vast majority of New York Times stories about marijuana were about drug trafficking and abuse or other Schedule I drugs.
Meanwhile, the number of articles discussing the medical uses of marijuana slowly increased.
By the late 1990s, marijuana was rarely discussed in the context of drug trafficking and drug abuse.