Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Research Paper Questions Anti-Pot Assumptions Regarding High Schools Next to Dispensaries

Another study, and another piece of "conventional wisdom" about medical pot goes down the toilet

Two studies, one by think tank RAND Corporation and another by the University of California — Los Angeles found no correlation between increased criminal activity around dispensaries. (The RAND study was retracted by pressure from the L.A. City Council and the researchers in the UCLA study, strangely, seemed unconvinced by their own findings.)

Anti-marijuana forces have taken it for granted that areas where high schools and dispensaries co-exist leads to increased teen use, with anecdotal stories of students being high on medical-grade pot.

However, a new survey found that there is no statistical evidence that dispensaries in the area leads to increased use by teens, reports

The study, titled "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use" for Germany's Institute for the Study of Labor, is co-authored by Daniel I. Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, Benjamin Hansen, assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon and D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University. (An abstract of the working paper can be found here.)

"This result is important given that the federal government has recently intensified its efforts to close medical marijuana dispensaries," Hansen said.

"In fact, the data often showed a negative relationship between legalization and marijuana use." Anderson added, "We are confident that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase when a state legalizes medical marijuana."

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