In recently published data from the Cannabis Advertising and Social Media study (CASM), youth who engaged with cannabis brands and advertisements on social media were 5 times more likely to have used marijuana over the past year compared to those who did not. Moreover, youth who had a favorite brand of cannabis were 8 times more likely to report marijuana use than those who did not. These results send a clear signal to lawmakers that contrary to the assertions of the marijuana industry, legalization does indeed result in increased use among adolescents. We know that the human brain is an exquisite yet delicate instrument that is not fully developed until the age of 25. This makes adolescents especially susceptible to industry manipulation and addiction. Lawmakers have banned the marketing of tobacco products to children for this very reason. Today’s potent strains of marijuana rob youth of their motivation, diminishes their cognitive abilities, and keeps them from reaching their full potential. Moreover, research shows that marijuana use during adolescence primes the brains for addiction to more dangerous substances. The need to restrict the ability of the marijuana industry to market their wares to children is more urgent than ever. Swift action needs to be taken to protect this vulnerable population.
Marijuana industry advertising via social media increases adolescent use of marijuana
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