Study: Child Marijuana Use Soared 245% in Last 20 Years

    Photo: abc

    The Facts

    • According to a study from the Oregon Health and Science University that analyzed over 330k reports from the National Poison Data System, US child and teen marijuana use increased by 245% between 2000 and 2020. The study covered all substances, but marijuana saw the largest increase.

    • Coinciding with a steady decline in teen drinking, the research published in the journal Clinical Toxicology showed the increase was for children aged six to 18, with 80% of all reported cases being in teens aged 13 to 18, and 58.3% in males.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Just as the anti-marijuana legalization movement warned us, as more states legalize the substance and normalize its culture, more young Americans get caught in the crossfire. Weed can absolutely be addicting, and rates of such addictive behavior have been on the rise, hindering two decades of declines in cigarette smoking. As children face rising rates of depression, substances like marijuana only worsen the epidemic.

    Narrative B

    This study doesn't mean that youth marijuana use is on the rise due to the legalization of marijuana. Many other studies this year — specifically focused on marijuana use in states that have legalized recreational weed — have shown no increase, which should put an end to the blame game against marijuana legalization.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 85% chance that marijuana will be legal for recreational use in a supermajority of strongly Republican US states before 2041, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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