Impacts of commercial legalization on America’s Youth
As marijuana is legalized for medical and commercial use across the US, many are attempting to measure its impacts on society. According to an article by Fox News and a study by Smart Approaches to Marijuana, marijuana use is at its “highest levels ever recorded among those aged 19 to 30,” for daily, past-month, and past-year use. Additionally, “potency of the drug [has increased] by more than four times since 1998.” These shocking statistics have begun to have an effect on daily life in the United States. For example, marijuana led to “70,000 individuals younger than 18 to have marijuana-related emergency department visits in 2021.”
Legalization has also had an effect on safety on the roads. For instance, “in 2021, 10.67 million people admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana, including 1.36 million who were between the ages of 16 and 20,” and “there were 2.41 times more minors on the road under the influence of marijuana than were under the influence of alcohol.”
Marijuana has become more easily accessible and marketed towards youth, leading to increased use and increased accidents from the drug. In order to keep roads safe, individuals can use the Otorize test on their smartphone prior to driving. Otorize is a cognitive test which tests for impairment from any substance, including marijuana. The results are instant and crucial to preventing impaired driving.