Teens Say Cannabis is Easier to Get than Alcohol, More Proof that Prohibition Doesn’t Work

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One of the biggest arguments in favor of legalization is the fact that regulation will make it harder for teens to get ahold of the substance. Sure, there will always be a certain percentage of teens who will find a way to get their hands on liquor or weed or some other drug to experiment with – but proper regulation would certainly make it more difficult for them to get the substance in the first place. After all, a budtender, much like a bartender, will ID someone before selling anything cannabis – but a drug dealer isn’t likely to care as long as they are making money.

A recent study analyzes answers from more than 1,000 teenagers polled by Survation for the drugs policy think tank Volteface. The poll found that around 44 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds who have tried or use cannabis say that it is easy to obtain. When compared to another illicit substance commonly used by teens, 22 percent of those who have tried or drink alcohol say that it is easy to buy.

“Cannabis specifically has become the substance of choice for young people, who are unable to purchase alcohol because of its strict regulation,” Labour MP David Lammy said.

While this study comes out of the U.K. the findings have not been much different in the United States. In fact, as states begin to legalize cannabis we have found that states where it is legal see a relative decline in rates of cannabis use among teens. California is the most recent to see a decline in cannabis use among teens, which has only been since legalization and regulation have started to truly take hold in the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

“Therefore the criminalisation of the drug has had the exact opposite effect to the deterrence it was meant to induce. The Government is directly putting children and teenagers at risk by leaving the supply of cannabis in the hands of organised crime,” Lammy concluded.