A central argument in favor of re-legalizing cannabis is that, when available in a regulated market for those of age, youth will find cannabis harder to obtain. Offered as evidence — When’s the last time you saw a kid leave the convenience store with a pack of smokes, or walk out of a state liquor store carrying a purchase? Here’s more:
Investigators from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the CDC evaluated annual data compiled by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for the years 2002 to 2014. Researchers reported that the percentage of respondents aged 12 to 17 years who perceived marijuana to be “fairly easy or very easy to obtain” fell by 13 percent during this time period. Among those ages 18 to 25, marijuana’s perceived availability decreased by three percent.
Researchers further reported that “since 2002, the prevalence of marijuana use and initiation among U.S. youth has declined” – a finding that is consistent with prior studies.
By contrast, authors reported an uptick in use among adults. However, they acknowledged that this increase in adult marijuana consumption has not been associated with a parallel increase in problematic use.
Now, I find the most interesting fact in this new study to be:
Those adults experiencing the greatest percentage increase in marijuana use during the study period were respondents over the age of 55.
A lot of people smoked cannabis, called “grass,” in college back in the 1960’s and 70’s. For most it did not become a lifelong practice. As the years passed they did not say “no” if a joint was passed around at a party. They were neither regular buyers or consumers. And they knew cannabis was not a danger.
Then came that disaster of a president, Ronald Reagan. A propaganda program, payed for with tax dollars, called “DARE” was put in the schools. Along with cops in uniform. We were told to “just say no,” and big guns turned on cannabis. Mandatory minimum sentences were created. Most who knew the truth stood by in shameful silence while the foulest lies were told about cannabis. Cannabis consumers of all stripes hunkered down. It could be punitive and costly to be associated with cannabis.
The resistance may yet prevail but the fight is not over and not won. Yet. We DID get cannabis into the national debate but not close enough to the center of the election. Okay. Knocking off the federal inertia would have been helpful, but if this change is to be real, if it is to last, it must come from the bottom up. Not a change ordered by our masters in Washington, but a change demanded by the people and enacted by the employees in Washington D.C. That’s how it works, in theory.
And the jump in weed consumption for those over 55? Just making up for lost time. And sore backs, and anxiety, and I never liked alcohol, and . . .
Complete original post is HERE.
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