As a growing number of states follow California’s leap and legalize marijuana, new research shows cannabis use among U.S. teens is more widespread now than it was just a generation ago.
A study published in the June 20 issue of American Journal of Public Health, looked at U.S. federal health data for more than 200,000 high school students between 1991-2017. The results show marijuana use among teens within that time frame, has increased tenfold.
Study author, Hongying Dai, of University of Nebraska’s College of Public Health in Omaha, noted the “surge” in teens using marijuana is troubling, and “highlights the importance of marijuana prevention among youths.”
To date, a plethora of studies have investigated the long-term effects of marijuana use in teens. Concern often centers around effects of the drug on the prefrontal cortex areas of the brain, which control judgment and decision-making, and continue to develop well into a person’s early 20’s. Marijuana use in such studies, has also been linked to an increased incidence of mental health disorders, including depression, psychosis and other long-term psychiatric effects.