RAND Study Says Cannabis Ads May Increase Underage Use

In a study that could affect the future of cannabis advertising and ad regulations, researchers with the RAND Corporation have found that medical marijuana advertising may contribute to increased cannabis use among adolescents. The study was published early Wednesday in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The study, led by Elizabeth D’Amico, followed a cohort of nearly 2,500 young students in Southern California from 2008 through 2017. D’Amico and her colleagues surveyed sixth and seventh graders (ages 11-12) in 2008 and followed them through high school (age 19). Of about 5,000 students who originally answered questions, about 2,500 completed the entire eight-year study. (Many of the others moved away, did not respond, or scattered to disparate high schools.)

Students were asked to estimate how often they had seen medical marijuana ads in the past three months. In 2010, 25% of adolescents tested reported being exposed to at least one ad. By 2017,

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