Complex Weed Laws Hurting US Teens

Cannabis legalisation in the US hasn’t reduced the number of teens being arrested for possession of marijuana.

A new study from Washington University found that in states such as California and Colorado where cannabis was legalised, the number of youths arrested for cannabis possession hasn’t gone down.

In comparison states where cannabis has been decriminalised such as Minnesota and New York, youth arrests did appear to decline.

The study looked at data from 38 states including 4 states with cannabis legalization policies and 7 states with cannabis decriminalization policies. 

There is concern that these laws are creating a criminal history for youth and raises questions of what happens to young people when the law treats adults and youths differently.

 Professor Maree Teesson,  the director of The Matilda Centre, gives us an insight into these complex laws. 

The Matilda Centre at the University of Sydney researchers mental health and substance use with a particular focus on young people. 

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