When a formerly illegal substance is suddenly legalized, you would probably assume that people would start abusing this drug more frequently than before. However, the opposite can be said about the situation with marijuana in Washington State. According to a recent study, teenagers in the Evergreen State are using pot at a steadily declining rate (a stark contrast from previous years). In fact, from 2010 to 2016, the rate of teen pot use has pretty much plummeted. So why has the little green plant suddenly dropped in popularity? Is it due to newfound knowledge about the plant or an overall fear of getting caught by authorities? Let’s take a closer look at the recent trend with Washington teens and cannabis.
No More Pot for Us
Based on a recent report, a team of public health researchers (from the RAND Drug Policy Research Center) discovered that the rate of marijuana use among Washington teens had plummeted from 2014 to 2016, in contrast to past numbers from 2010 to 2012. Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study discovered:
- 8th Graders: Overall marijuana use decreased from 9.8% to 7.3%.
- 10th Graders: Overall marijuana use decreased from 19.8% to 17.8%.
- 12th Graders: Marijuana use remained the same.
Overall, Washington teenagers have had open access to marijuana since the 1970s, when this national debate first gained momentum. However, in 2012, state lawmakers opted to tax and regulate the drug to prevent teen abuse and dependency, and, in 2014, Washington dispensaries required the age limit (21 years) and an ID card for purchases.
Focus on State-Level Data
Teaming up with officials across the board, Dr. Julia A. Dilley and Susan M. Richardson (the authors of this study) opted for state-level data rather than drawing from a national pool. Ultimately, the pair collected information from a two-year pool of data collected from Washington schools and found much more success than their predecessors. So, why are teens not smoking as much as they used to?
According to Dr. Dilley, factors like adult-use restrictions, taxes, and prices (used to manage the adult sales) might be a factor behind this behavior. However, she cannot draw a full conclusion at this time.
Seeking Treatment for Marijuana Use Disorder
Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.
The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.