Does marijuana legalization lead to increased use?


Changes in marijuana laws have not been found to have a significant impact on rates of adult use.

"There is little evidence that decriminalization of marijuana use necessarily leads to a substantial increase in marijuana use." - The National Academy of Sciences

In short: legal access ≠ increased use.

When it comes to use by young people, several recent reports have found that in the majority of states that have approved medical marijuana, use among teenagers has actually decreased.

Experts say this is due to a diminished “forbidden fruit” effect and decreased access to marijuana as it moves from the unregulated streets – where there are no age requirements – to inside licensed dispensaries, where you need to be 21 to purchase marijuana.


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People deserve accurate, non-judgmental information about marijuana and other drugs

In order to stay safe, we need to understand both the effects of drugs and the policies that surround them.

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Shelley's Story

Marijuana: The Facts

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) supports information and polices related to marijuana that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Safety is our top priority, especially when it comes to young people.
This booklet provides brief answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about marijuana. We hope it will help you better understand this plant and its effects.