The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.
More U.S. high school seniors reported vaping cannabis in states where it is legal only for medical purposes than states where all adult use is permitted—a study finding that surprised the researchers.
About 27% of twelfth graders in medical marijuana states reported vaping cannabis compared to 19% in states that prohibited cannabis or allowed it for adult use, according to the Washington State University study.
“More than a quarter of our youth in medical states were vaping cannabis. That’s a lot,” said Christian Maynard, a WSU sociology Ph.D. student and first author of the study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports. “We were expecting medical and adult use states would be more similar. Instead, we didn’t find any statistical difference between prohibited and adult use states.”
For this study, Maynard and his advising professor, WSU sociologist Jennifer Schwartz, analyzed responses from 3,770 high school seniors to the 2020 Monitoring the Future survey, a project which has been surveying U.S. youth since 1975.
In both prohibited and adult use states, fewer high school seniors, 52%, reported easy access to cartridges. More also felt regular cannabis use was risky: 40% in prohibited states and 36% in adult use states.
The study could not identify the exact reasons for the high rates of teen vaping in medical marijuana states.
While cannabis and tobacco use among teens has been decreasing overall, vaping has bucked that trend. Among high school seniors, cannabis vaping during the past 30 days made the second the biggest single-year jump in 2019 for any substance in the 45-year history of the Monitoring the Future study. It was only second to nicotine vaping.