BOSTON (CBS) – There have been concerns that relaxing recreational marijuana laws would lead more teens to start smoking pot, but a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics finds these concerns may be unfounded.

This issue will continue to be studied as time goes by but in this new analysis, researchers looked at data on about 1.4 million high school students in the United States over almost 25 years.

They found legalizing medical marijuana had no effect on teen use, however when marijuana is legalized for recreational use, teens seem to be less likely to use it.

They say, this in part, may be due to the fact that it’s harder for teens to get pot because drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.

Another factor may be that teens are getting the message that marijuana use can harm their brain development.


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