According to a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, a study was conducted involving sixth graders, and it addressed the risks of whether these children would likely drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they are older. The goal of the agency was to reduce the risks by challenging their positive beliefs about marijuana when they were still young.
The study determined that 12 year olds who had negative views about using marijuana were much less likely to later drive under the influence of the drug than 12-year-old children who had positive feelings about marijuana use and thought it could be a way to help them relax and enjoy themselves. Study makers also concluded that these children who had positive feelings about using marijuana were also more likely to ride in a car with someone who was high or drunk. This study was published in professional journal for pediatricians.
One of their main concerns was that these 12-year-old research subjects felt that marijuana was much less hazardous or dangerous than drinking alcohol. Based upon this research, the study creators feel that they need to do whatever they can to change the views of young people about marijuana. They are also using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has estimated that approximately ten percent of high school students have driven under the influence in any given month, and twice that number of students have ridden as a passenger of a drunk or drugged driver.
As our Orange County medical marijuana cooperative attorneys can explain, there is no question that it could be dangerous to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana, it does not mean that going into schools and teaching 12-year-olds that marijuana is dangerous is necessarily a good thing either.
Over the past few decades, there has been a major shift in public opinion about the use of medical marijuana and, as of now, the majority of the American public now supports the legalization of medical marijuana, and many support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. There are obviously those who oppose the legalization of medical marijuana, and one of the tactics they tend to use is to associate the drug with crime and physical abuse. It is also well known that many high school students take prescription drugs like Xanax or Ritalin, and while it is important to discuss the dangers involved in taking the medications without a prescription, or while driving, there is not a concerted effort to ban the medications.
Specifically, the researchers concluded marijuana is now being seen in a “benign” light with respect to middle school students, and that this so-called problem is only going to get worse as more Americans begin to support the legalization of marijuana throughout the country. The study is also going to be repeated at a dozen schools in Los Angeles, and the study authors also plan to use their program at these schools in the future.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Kids’ feelings about marijuana in sixth grade may predict future risk of drunk driving, October 5, 2015, LA Times, by Karen Kaplan
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Report: Oregon Airport Allows Carry-On Cannabis, July 22, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog