Teens are Using Medical Marijuana Recommended for Others, Study Finds
Aug 02, 2012
A study by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. found that teens receiving treatment for substance abuse commonly use “diverted” medical marijuana that is meant for another person. Most of the teens polled likely got it from an adult with a valid medical marijuana registration card.
The study questioned 164 teens aged 14 to 18 in substance abuse treatment programs in Denver. Of those surveyed, 74% used marijuana meant for someone else an average of 50 times. Recent legislation in Colorado has opened the door to more legalized marijuana use in the state, but the findings suggest that the policies are causing improper use of medical marijuana by young people. Unfortunately, most teens surveyed believe that marijuana use comes with little or no risk. According to the report, those who began using marijuana at a young age were more dependent on the drug and showed more symptoms of conduct disorder. Lead author Stacy Salomonsen-Sautel and her colleagues concluded that policy-makers need to improve safeguards to prevent teens and other high-risk groups from getting access to the drug. The research implies that there is considerable diversion occurring from registered users in the state to these high-risk teens and others with medical marijuana easily accessible.
Return to view all news
MedlinePlus - National Library of Medicine