JAN 16, 2020 8:46 AM PST

College Kids Exchange Alcohol for Weed in Legal States

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers have now found that legalization of marijuana has significantly increased the number of college-aged pot smokers, while significantly decreased the amount of alcohol they drink. 

For their study, researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) analyzed data from a cross-sectional National College Health Assessment survey taken between 2008 and 2018 by undergraduate students aged between 18 and 26. In total, the study examined 234,669 students who lived in seven states that had enacted recreational marijuana legalization, alongside 599,605 students who lived in 41 states where marijauana was not legal for recreational use. 

In the end, the researchers found that students living in states in which recreational marijuana usage was legalized were 18% more likely to have smoked within any given 30 days, as well as 17% more likely to do so frequently (on at least 20 of the 30 days) than students in states in which the drug remained illegal. 

The researchers found that this number increased over time too. In states that had seen mariuana legalized for recreational usage for six years or more, they saw that students were 46% more likely to have smoked the drug than their peers in states where it remains illegal. In addition to this, the researchers found that pot-smoking was more common among older students aged between 21 and 26 than younger ones aged between 18 and 20. 

Strikingly however, the researchers also found that in states where marijuana was legalized, consumption habits of alcohol changed too. Zoe Alley, an OSU doctoral candidate and the author of a companion study said, “In most states, once you reach 21, a barrier that was in the way of using alcohol is gone, while it’s intact for marijuana use. But when marijuana is legal, this dynamic is changed...For marijuana we saw state-specific increases that went beyond the nationwide increases, whereas binge drinking was the opposite: a greater decrease in the context of nationwide decreases.”

A surprise for the investigators, especially as the same effect was seen among minors too, further research is needed to understand why this is the case, as well as to better understand the overall impact of marijuana legalization on consumption habits. 

 

Sources: Wiley Onlne Library and New York Post

 

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
MAY 16, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Body's Own Cannabis Helps Us Forget Traumatic Events
MAY 16, 2020
Body's Own Cannabis Helps Us Forget Traumatic Events
Researchers have found that anandamide, often referred to as the body’s own cannabis, may help us forget traumatic ...
MAY 15, 2020
Health & Medicine
Study Recommends 19 As Minimum Legal Age for Recreational Cannabis
MAY 15, 2020
Study Recommends 19 As Minimum Legal Age for Recreational Cannabis
Scientists concluded from a recent study that 19 years of age is the “optimal minimum legal age” for recreat ...
MAY 28, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis-Free CBD More Effective than Regular CBD
MAY 28, 2020
Cannabis-Free CBD More Effective than Regular CBD
Commonly known to come from the cannabis plant or hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) can also be found in a range of other plants. ...
JUN 24, 2020
Health & Medicine
Best Not Get Behind the Wheel After Indulging in Recreational Marijuana
JUN 24, 2020
Best Not Get Behind the Wheel After Indulging in Recreational Marijuana
Two new studies examining the effects of recreational marujiana on road deaths have been published in the June issue of ...
JUN 29, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Should You Give Cannabis to Your Cat?
JUN 29, 2020
Should You Give Cannabis to Your Cat?
There is very limited research on the effects of cannabinoids on pets. Although some studies have emerged touting their ...
AUG 10, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism
AUG 10, 2020
Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Linked to Autism
Researchers from The Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, Canada, have found that children born to mothers who used cannabis whil ...
Loading Comments...