Pubdate: Tue, 19 Jun 2012
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2012 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Michael Booth


The surge in outlets for legal medical marijuana has not boosted pot 
use by teens, according to a new study organized by economists at 
University of Colorado Denver and other universities.

The economists' review of national and state surveys and drug tests 
showed no correlation between an uptick in recent teen drug use and 
the increased availability of pot.

The best numbers available don't show any greater use in states that 
have legalized medical-marijuana dispensing, CU Denver economist 
Daniel Rees said.

"There's just not a whiff of an increase" in states with more liberal 
marijuana laws, Rees said. "If anything, it goes down." Critics 
pointing to an increase in teen drug use will have to look harder for 
valid causes, he said.

TheU.S. Attorney's Office in Denver said it had not yet read the full 
study but added it is concerned about other surveys showing a rise in 
marijuana use by Colorado teenagers.

The WhiteHouse's Office ofNational Drug Control Policy criticizes 
medical marijuana's spread and draws connections with youth drug use.

Rees and economists from Montana State University and the University 
of Oregon combed wide surveys from 1993 to 2009. In those years, 13 
states (including Colorado) legalized marijuana for medicinal uses, 
with varying access to dispensaries. The data included surveys of 
high school behavior, as well as drug-test screens from patients 
entering federally funded drug-treatment centers.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom