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Teenagers smoke less weed in US states where medical marijuana is legal, a new study finds.
Researchers said that for every 100 teens, one fewer used pot in state that allows adults to buy and use cannabis for medical purposes, recreation, or both.
Effect - Minority - Teens - Percent - Teens
The effect was more obvious in minority teens, with nearly seven percent fewer black and Hispanic teens likely to smoke a joint in states where doing so is legal for adults than in states where it isn't.
Previous studies have looked at teenage use in individual states, and in states with recreational marijuana laws.
Team - Boston - College - Massachusetts - Study
But the team, led by Boston College in Massachusetts, says its study is one of the first to look at the association between medical marijuana legalization and teen use.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
States - Alaska - California - Colorado - Maine
Ten of those states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington - and DC have also legalized recreational use.
Critics have bemoaned that legalizing marijuana in any form will pose a significant public health threat- especially to children and teenagers - while proponents say teens will be less likely to abuse a drug they can easily get their hands on.
Study - Journal - Drug - Alcohol - Abuse
For the study, published in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the team surveyed more than 800,000 high school students across 45 states over 16 years.
Results showed there are 1.1 percent fewer teenage smokers in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without them.
Group - Adolescents - User - Marijuana - Enactment
'We found that for every group of 100 adolescents, one fewer will be a current user of marijuana following the enactment of...
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