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Study Finds Teen Drug Use Not Affected by State Medical Marijuana Law

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Teenagers in Rhode Island did not use more marijuana after the state implemented its medical marijuana law in 2006, according to a new study.

The study of almost 33,000 students compared trends in teenage marijuana use in Rhode Island and Massachusetts from 1997 to 2009, HealthDay reports. The researchers found between 26 and 34 percent of teenagers in both states used marijuana during that period, but there was no significant difference in marijuana use between the states in any year. They concluded Rhode Island’s law did not lead to increased marijuana use.

In a news release, lead author Esther Choo, MD, MPH, noted that “state-level legalization of medical marijuana has raised concerns about increased accessibility and appeal of the drug to youth, who are most vulnerable to public messages about drug use and to the adverse consequences of marijuana.”

She presented her findings at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

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