January 7, 2015 – Cannabis Availability
Anchor lead: As more states are decriminalizing marijuana, many experts are sounding a note of warning, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Decriminalizing marijuana has already increased the number of high school students in Colorado who’ve tried the drug, with consequences that are just beginning to emerge. Eric Strain, a drug addiction expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.
STRAIN: It worries me to make any drug more available especially if young people can access it, because if there’s a base rate of percentage of people who experiment with a drug who go on to develop problems with it, then if you increase the number of people who try it then you’re going to get more who develop a problem with it. For cannabis, there’s some old epidemiologic data that would suggest that about 15-17% of people who try cannabis in their lifetime will go on to develop some time of problematic use associated with it. :30
Strain notes that the marijuana available today is much more potent than that of yore, and warns that we don’t understand its impact on the developing brain. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.