Legalization efforts are everywhere and opponents are cringing at the notion, with arguments such as more teens will have access to marijuana and thus will abuse it. Although that is a compelling argument, recent studies from Columbia University suggest otherwise.
These studies have looked at the effect legalization has in states such as Colorado, and how actual use changes once legalization has been implemented. What they found was pretty remarkable.
The percentage of use among people over 25 increased 1.2% after legalization.
The percentage of use among teens and young adults aged 12 to 25 did not increase after legalization due to the fact that most had no clue marijuana was more readily available in their legalized state.
So what does this mean? Well, marijuana legalization opponents strongly believe that the availability after legalization would increase the use among teens, but as the recent study concluded, the big gap in supposed increase of marijuana use among teens is mainly due to the fact that teens are just not aware that marijuana is readily available in their state.
There could be countless reasons for this. It could be the lack of keeping up-to-date with news, affordability or just that teens are smart enough to make their own decisions about things such as marijuana use.
This just goes to show you that marijuana legalization is not something that will create chaos, but actually allow the public to make their own decisions on consumption, just like alcohol.
Opponents of marijuana legalization can make as many riddled arguments as they want, but the fact is that legalization benefits outweigh their arguments. Legalization raises a lot of tax money that goes back to things such as school funding and other projects. Crime that results from illegal marijuana activity will diminish. The amount of money spent fighting marijuana use will no longer be spent, and people who need pain relief for certain conditions and diseases will be able to attain it without being foolishly prosecuted.