The Effects of State Legislation on Adolescent Marijuana Use

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Advisor: John McAna, Jefferson College of Population Health, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


Marijuana legislation has been changing a lot over the last few years. The recent legalizations for medical and recreational use opens the doors for public health research. Historically, there is not a lot of research on marijuana due to its long history of being classified as a schedule 1 drug, which was a large block for much research. The purpose of this study is to view and compare how different states’ marijuana legislation influences adolescent marijuana usage, specifically high school students. Using mainly the CDC’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey, and some data obtained from state’s Department of Public Health, a one-way ANOVA test was run to compare adolescent marijuana use in states with varying marijuana legislation. The study found no significant difference in adolescent marijuana use between no legalization vs limited medical legalization and non-limited medical legalization vs recreational legalization. Both non-limited medical legalization and recreational legalization were found to show a significantly higher rate of adolescent marijuana use compared to both no legalization and limited medical legalization groups.

Presentation: 4:19