California Teen Arrest Overdose And Dropout Rates Decreased Since Marijuana Legalization

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( — October 16, 2014)  — A new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice shows a decrease in school dropout rates which indicates that recent researches was on the spot suggesting links between marijuana use and low school completion rates.


However, many experts suggest there could be any number of confounding variables that account for this relationship. It’s still early in California’s decriminalization experiment to conclude that marijuana legalization leads to actual improvements, experts say.


“By a variety of measures, California’s teenage behaviors actually improved dramatically after marijuana was effectively legalized — improvements that occurred more weakly or not at all among older Californians and among teenagers nationwide.” the report authors write.


This doesn’t prove causality, but research data shows, that in the two years since full-scale decriminalization went into effect, California’s kids are actually better.


The data shows decrease in drug and alcohol use. The same report covers other states as well, for example, Alaska, where personal marijuana use has been de facto legalized for nearly 40 years, and Colorado where traffic fatalities have fallen since legalization.


However, DEA report finding that more Colorado drivers involved in car crashes are testing positive for marijuana. Of course, unlike alcohol, inactive marijuana metabolites remain in the body days or weeks after consumption, depending on frequency of use, thus the presence of metabolites doesn’t necessarily indicate you were high at the time of the test.