Fewer Young People Than Ever Feel They Have Easy Access To Cannabis

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Ron Strider

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The number of young people who believe they can easily access cannabis has plummeted since 2002, data published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reveals.

Researchers from Boston University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina and St. Louis University looked at trends on perceived cannabis access among teens between the years 2002 to 2015.

“We observed a 27 percent overall reduction in the relative proportion of adolescents ages 12 to 17 and a 42 percent reduction among those ages 12 to 14 reporting that it would be ‘very easy’ to obtain marijuana,” state the authors.

“This pattern was uniformly observed among youth in all sociodemographic subgroups."
“Despite the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in some states, our findings suggest that … perceptions that marijuana would be very easy to obtain are on the decline among American youth.”

The study supports figures released last year by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which stated: “From 2002 to 2014, … perceived availability [of marijuana] decreased by 13 percent among persons aged 12–17 years and by three percent among persons aged 18-25 years old.”

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