Study: Exposure to Marijuana Ads Linked to Increased Youth Marijuana Use

While New Jersey’s lawmakers are weighing important decisions on marijuana, it’s vital to remember that there’s nothing more important in this debate than the health and safety of our children and how changes in laws could affect our future.

A study recently completed and published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that exposure to medical marijuana advertising could lead to increased use of marijuana by youth.

The study, which recruited Southern California students an average age of 13 years old from 2010 to 2017, asked participants if they had seen medical marijuana advertising, if they intended to use marijuana in the next six months, how many days they had used it in the previous month and how often they had experienced negative consequences of using marijuana during the past year.

Adolescents who reported that they had greater exposure to marijuana advertisements were more likely to report having used marijuana in the last month and were more likely to report that they expected to use marijuana during the next six months, according to the study.

These findings are troubling, especially considering the negative short-term and long-term effects it can have on teenagers’ undeveloped brains. Authors of the study stressed the importance of educating children on the effects of marijuana use and also suggested tightening regulations for marijuana advertising, similar to those in place on tobacco and alcohol.

As New Jersey leaders continue to debate potentially increasing legal access to marijuana, it is critical that those leading the conversation place children’s health as the top priority.

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