Medical marijuana states have the highest rates of youth use in the nation. As marijuana availability increases, and perception of harm decreases, more kids use.
The reality is that 95% of users who frequent “medical” marijuana stores are simply drug-seeking individuals with vague unverifiable symptoms of “pain”, or “intractable pain”, or “chronic pain”. The amount allowed per patient is more than can possible be personally consumed. The rest is diverted — often to youth.
We end up with a large illicit supply and rising youth use rates.
The medical research on high-THC marijuana exposure is rolling in. Even causal youth use causes structural changes in the brain and increases the risk of progressive addiction. We are in the midst of a heroin crisis. Massachusetts has had over 200 heroin deaths so far this year. One Burlington, VT, hospital handled 9 heroin overdoses on a single day in April. (Vermont also has the highest rate of youth use of pot in the country.) We now have support groups for parents of young addicts, called “Learn To Cope” who tell us that over 95% of their addicted children began their journey into addiction with potent 21st Century marijuana.
And that recent survey designed to debunk the above data and widely publicized by the pot lobby is bogus. It leaves out youth use data from COLORADO, WASHINGTON, CALIFORNIA and OREGON! That’s like leaving Russia out of a study on vodka consumption.
AND, the study considered data only up to 2011–before the Pot Rush. If there were ever any doubt that this is driven by an industry hell-bent on deception, this alone should put that to rest.
If that’s not enough, however, consider:
This study assessed marijuana use in the following medical marijuana states: Montana, Rhode Island, Maine, Nevada, Vermont. Most of these states have small registries (% of adult population for RI = 0.37%, Maine 0.08%, Nevada 0.15%, Vermont 0.07%) Montana is the only exception. Colorado is not included.
This study relies on CDC data that are a survey of kids in school, not out of school. The kids out of school are the ones most likely to be using substances.