The state level legalization of recreational marijuana has no discernible impact on how children feel about the potential risks associated with marijuana use.
This is according to a new peer-reviewed study being published in the upcoming issue of the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health.
“As more states pass recreational cannabis laws (RCLs) for adults, there is concern that increasing (and state-sanctioned) cannabis acceptance will result in a reduced perception of risk of harm from cannabis among children”, states the study’s abstract. “We aimed to discover whether children in states with RCLs had decreased perception of risk from cannabis compared with children in states with illicit cannabis.”
For the study researchers “analyzed data from the multisite multistate Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study to determine how the perception of cannabis harm among children (age at baseline: 9-10; N=10,395) changes over time in states with and without RCLs.”
Using multilevel modeling, they “assessed survey responses from children longitudinally across 3 years, adjusting for state-, family-, and participant-level clustering and child-level factors, including demographics (sex, race, and socioeconomic status), religiosity, and trait impulsivity.”
The study found that there “was no significant main effect of state RCLs on perceived risk of cannabis use, and no differences in change over time by state RCLs, even after controlling for demographic factors and other risk (e.g., impulsivity) and protective (e.g., religiosity) factors.”
Researchers conclude by stating that “this analysis indicates that state-level RCLs are not associated with differential perception of cannabis risk among children, even after controlling for demographics, trait impulsivity, and religiosity. Future studies could assess how perception of risk from cannabis changes as children and adolescents continue to mature in states with and without RCLs.”
More information on the study including a look at its full abstract can be found at the following link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36301559/