As dozens of states move toward legalizing marijuana — for both medical and recreational purposes — scientists and parents have asked what the impact might be on children. Will more teens use pot? Will doing so cause behavioral problems? Will they develop a substance-use disorder?
According to a study published last month in the journal Addiction: yes, probably not and maybe.
The study, led by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, found that marijuana use among teens does not lead to conduct problems. In fact, it’s the other way around. Adolescents with conduct problems — like cheating, skipping class and stealing — are more likely to gravitate toward marijuana use.
“Parents ought to be somewhat reassured that cannabis use doesn’t lead to the type of mental health problems related to conduct issues,” said Dan Romer, a co-author of the study and research director of the Annenberg Center.
The study used