It may be surprising to learn that increased marijuana use in the U.S. isn’t because of marijuana legalization. The journal Addiction published new data following a study’s completion along with comparing data from the 29 medical marijuana states and eight recreational marijuana states. The findings determined that societal factors have led to the increase in marijuana use, not the liberalization of marijuana laws.
The study is very clear regarding that its findings are absolutely not due to changes in state marijuana legalization laws, according to Forbes. It was also noted that in prior surveys some respondents may have been too timid to admit their marijuana use. More marijuana users are becoming open about their consumption.
The study says, “Medical and recreational marijuana policies did not have any significant association with increased marijuana use. Marijuana policy liberalization over the past 20 years has certainly been associated with increased marijuana use; however, policy changes appear to have occurred in response to changing attitudes within states and to have effects on attitudes and behaviors more generally in the U.S.”
The abstract portion of the study said that the “steep rise in marijuana use in the United States since 2005 occurred across the population and is attributable to general period effects not specifically linked to the liberalization of marijuana policies in some states.”
Interestingly enough, this study’s findings were published just one week after the annual federal study shows that teen marijuana use is at the lowest levels recorded since 1994.
These two recent studies show that despite marijuana prohibition and some legalization throughout the U.S., nationwide legalization isn’t likely to lead to a mass increase in marijuana use. Simply put, many people that want to use it, likely already do.