Bringing Citizens Together to End Cannabis Prohibition

Teen arrest, overdose and dropout rates fall after decriminalization

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice released an important report this week. Here's the Washington Post's summary

The report finds that marijuana decriminalization in California has not resulted in harmful consequences for teenagers, such as increased crime, drug overdose, driving under the influence, or school dropout. In fact, California teenagers showed improvements in all risk areas after reform.

And here's their analysis of the findings:

These numbers shouldn't be taken to imply that decriminalization caused these declines. But they do show, pretty clearly, that in the two years since full-scale decriminalization went into effect, California's kids are still all right. The sky hasn't fallen.

This report further undercuts a favorite doomsday scenario of many prohibitionists in which teenage use skyrockets after legalization. In Colorado, teen use of cannabis decreased after legalization. In fact, teen use in Colorado in 2013 -- the first full year of legalization in the state -- was below the national average.

By legalizing cannabis for adults, we actually make it more difficult for teenagers to get their hands on cannabis. Drug dealers don't ask for an I.D., but regulated and licensed dispensaries sure do. In fact, police in Colorado recently announced that they have found no dispensaries selling cannabis to minors despite ongoing compliance checks.


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Bringing Citizens Together to End Cannabis Prohibition

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