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Effects Of Medical Marijuana Rules On Marijuana Usage Among The Youth: College Essay Examples: College Essay Examples

Several states have been legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use. Colorado passed its medical legislation in November 2014 for both recreational and medicinal use. This paper aims at assessing the effects of medical marijuana rules on marijuana usage amongst the youth in Colorado. A cross-sectional survey was carried out amongst the students in 2013 and another in 2015. The essay writer questionnaire involved questions on the students’ use of marijuana during the last 30 days. The students could answer in six data sets. Results showed that there were significant differences observed in those local authorities who allowed marijuana use from those that didn’t in the 2013 and 2015 survey. This is mainly attributed to the ease of access to marijuana and its social acceptability in the community. Based on the results of the study, we can conclude that legalizing medical marijuana usage can increase the abuse of marijuana by the youth.

            Keywords: medical marijuana, youth, Colorado

Effects Of Medical Marijuana Rules On Marijuana Usage Among The Youth

Medical marijuana refers to a hemp plant that is cultivated and dispensed for medical purposes which include specific medical conditions in which a licensed healthcare provider issues a recommendation.  It has been found to help in the alleviation of pain and treatment of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and epilepsy (FSMB, 2016). 

Despite its proven medicinal use, Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance by the Federal Government, under the Controlled Substance Act. However, several states have been legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use. It was first legalized in California in 1996 and then spread to other states (FSMB, 2016).

Colorado passed its medical legislation in November 2014 for both recreational and medicinal use. The legislation gave authority to local governments to regulate and prohibit marijuana use in localities under their jurisdiction (Hopfer, 2015). Following the rule, some local governments banned its usage arguing that it will create avenues for abuse amongst the youth. The paper aims at assessing the effects of medical marijuana rules on marijuana usage amongst the youth in Colorado.

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Methods

The study aimed to assess the effect of medical marijuana legislation on Marijuana usage amongst youths in Colorado State. The study was carried out among high school students. Questionnaires were made and administered to randomly selected students from various schools in the state (Colorado, 2016).

A cross-sectional survey was carried out amongst the students in 2013 and another in 2015. The 2013 survey was taken when the Medical Marijuana Legislation had not come to effect while the 2015 survey was carried out after the legislation had come to effect. The two surveys were further divided into two clusters; one in where local authorities allowed marijuana use in both 2013 and 2015, and another in those local authorities didn’t permit marijuana use even after legislation (Colorado, 2016).

Data collection

The data was collected from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. Part of the survey which measures student wellbeing requires students to give information regarding the use of drugs. Schools were randomly selected from districts in Southern Colorado. The classrooms were randomly selected (Colorado, 2016).

 The students were voluntarily allowed to respond to the survey. The questionnaire involved questions on the students’ use of marijuana during the last 30 days. The students could answer in six data sets namely: 0; 1-2; 3 – 9; 10-19; 20-39 and 40 plus.

Experimental design and Data analysis

The experiment was designed as a 2 X 2 factorial (Carey, 2010).  The four groups for the experiment included:

  1. Students attending schools in local authorities which did not allow medical marijuana use in 2013
  2. Students attending schools in local authorities which did not allow medical marijuana use in 2015
  3. Students attending schools in local authorities which allowed medical marijuana use in 2013
  4. Students attending schools in local authorities which allowed medical marijuana use in 2015

 The data collected was analyzed using analysis of variance to determine whether there were significant differences between the groups (Carey, 2010). 

Results

There were significant differences observed in those local authorities who allowed marijuana use from those that didn’t in the 2013 and 2015 survey. There were no significant differences observed in those local authorities who didn’t allow marijuana use even after legislation.

Discussion and Conclusion

Results from the 2013 and 2015 surveys showed that there were significant differences observed in marijuana use amongst the youth between communities where local authorities permitted its usage and in those that didn’t. This might be due to the ease of access of the drug which could be linked to its abuse amongst the youth.

Another reason could be that the youth found it socially acceptable to abuse the drug if the adult population had permitted its use. They simply copied what the adults were doing and found it to be socially acceptable compared to communities that didn’t. The results from this study are collaborated by those of Johnson, Harris, and Hodgkin (2017) surveyed in 45 states in 20 years. Their study found significant differences in those states which allowed medical marijuana usage than those that didn’t.  However, these results are contrasted by those of Harpin et al. (2018) whose study found no direct relationship between the density of recreational marijuana dispensaries and adolescent marijuana usage.

Based on the results of the study, we can conclude that legalizing medical marijuana usage can increase the abuse of marijuana by the youth. However, there is a need to carry out more studies to determine to what extent passing medical marijuana legislation increases the abuse of the drug amongst the youth.

References

Carey, N. C., & Press, S. A. S. (2010). Analysis of observational health care data using SAS.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (2016) Healthy kids Colorado survey and smart source information. Retrieved from                    https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/hkcs.

Federal States Medical Board (FSMB). (2015). Model Guidelines for the Recommendation of      Marijuana in Patient Care. Retrieved from              https://www.fsmb.org/siteassets/advocacy/policies/model-guidelines-for-the-recommendation-of-marijuana-in-patient-care.pdf

Harpin, S. B., Brooks-Russell, A., Ma, M., James, K. A., & Levinson, A. H. (2018). Adolescent marijuana use and perceived ease of access before and after recreational marijuana implementation in Colorado. Substance use & misuse53(3), 451-456.

Hopfer, C. (2014). Implications of marijuana legalization for adolescent substance use. Substance abuse35(4), 331-335.

Johnson, J., Hodgkin, D., & Harris, S. K. (2017). The design of medical marijuana laws and adolescent use and heavy use of marijuana: Analysis of 45 states from 1991 to 2011. Drug and alcohol dependence170, 1-8.

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Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.
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