Cannabis legalisation: Teen addiction rate rises by a quarter in some US states

By: Brittany Keogh

The proportion of teenagers addicted to marijuana rose by a quarter after it was legalised in some US states, a major study has found.

US researchers analysed data on cannabis use and harm from more than 500,000 people aged 12 and older in Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon between 2008 and 2016.

While the proportion of 12- to 17-year-olds who used marijuana remained the same, reports of cannabis use disorder in that age group increased from 2.18 per cent to 2.72 per cent.

Kiwi experts say the finding is worth noting ahead of next year’s referendum on whether New Zealand should legalise cannabis. But more research was needed to prove whether the link was causative.

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