Cannabis Has Become “Harder” to Access for Young People Post-Legalization, Survey Says

A study published in the Archives of Public Health reveals a significant finding: since Canada legalized marijuana for adult use, it has become notably harder for young people to get cannabis.

This research, which was conducted by Canadian experts, focused on how young people perceive the availability of cannabis products.

From 2018, the year Canada legalized cannabis, to 2020, there was a 27% drop in underage youth who said it was easy to get cannabis. Additionally, there was a decrease in self-reported marijuana use among young people during this period.

The authors of the study noted that while there’s a lot of research on changes in youth cannabis use since the Cannabis Act and the COVID-19 pandemic, not much attention has been paid to how young people’s perceptions of cannabis availability have shifted.

This study fills that gap by showing a decline in the perception of easy access to cannabis among youth since legalization and during the pandemic.

Similarly, in the United States, no significant increase in marijuana use among youth has been observed following state-level legalization.

A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May 2023 indicated that the percentage of high school students who have ever tried marijuana dropped by 30% between 2011 and 2021. This period saw nearly half of all US states legalizing cannabis. There was also a similar decrease in the percentage of students who currently use marijuana.

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