Marijuana use by young people is not predictive of later conduct problems, such as school truancy or theft, according to data published in the journal Addiction.
A team of investigators from the United States and the Netherlands assessed the long-term association between self-reported marijuana use and conduct problems in a cohort of 364 racially and socio-economically diverse youth.
They reported, “Change in cannabis use did not predict changes in conduct problems or peer cannabis use over time.” Rather, they acknowledged, “[I]ncreases in conduct problems predicted increases in cannabis use.”
Authors concluded: “Conduct programs predicted cannabis use but not vice-versa, particularly during mid-late adolescence. … If youth with CP use unprescribed cannabis to cope with their condition, then healthier alternative coping strategies and support should be made available.”
Full text of the study, “Disentangling longitudinal relations between youth cannabis use, peer cannabis use, and conduct problems: Developmental cascading links to cannabis use disorder,” appears in Addiction.