A new study claims that proximity to a cannabis dispensary does not affect teen marijuana use, hopefully assuaging the fears of both parents and politicians. Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and reported by High Times, the study showed that medical marijuana dispensaries do not affect the rate of cannabis use by adolescents.
The study’s authors, Yuyan Shi, PhD; Sharon E. Cummins, PhD; and Shu-Hong Zhu, PhD of the University of California San Diego Department of Family Medicine and Public Health “aimed to examine the availability of medical marijuana dispensaries, price of medical marijuana products, and variety of medical marijuana products in school neighborhoods and their associations with adolescents’ use of marijuana and susceptibility to use marijuana in the future.”
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“There was no evidence supporting the associations of medical marijuana availability, price, or product variety around school with adolescents’ marijuana use and susceptibility to use,” wrote the study’s authors.
“The distance from school to the nearest medical marijuana dispensary (within 0- to 1-mi and 1- to 3-mi bands) was not associated with adolescents’ use of marijuana in the past month or susceptibility to use marijuana in the future, nor was the weighted count of medical marijuana dispensaries within the 3-mi band of school,” the study reads.
Interestingly, the strong relationship between retail outlets and the use of alcohol and tobacco doesn’t extend to marijuana, the researchers found. “Despite the strong relationship between retail outlets and alcohol and tobacco use documented by a number of studies, examination of the associations of medical marijuana dispensaries with marijuana use remains limited,”
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The study reviewed the responses of more than 46,000 teenagers in California at 117 randomly selected schools.