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    States with Legalized Recreational Marijuana Must Implement Strong Protections for Children

    States that have legalized recreational marijuana must implement strong protections to ensure that young people are protected from exposure to marijuana and can’t access it, experts from Partnership to End Addiction write in STAT.

    “But implementing strong and comprehensive protections for children is not the norm in many states that have legalized recreational marijuana use,” according to the opinion piece authored by Linda Richter, Ph.D., Robyn Oster and Lindsey Vuolo, J.D., M.P.H.

    They note that a growing body of research links marijuana legalization to problems among young people, including increased marijuana use, lower perceptions of marijuana’s risks, and some serious physical and mental health problems.

    Partnership to End Addiction recently published a report that identified evidence-based recommendations for legislative and regulatory measures to help protect young people in states that have legalized marijuana. The report outlines the research supporting nearly 30 recommendations, presents findings from a nationally representative survey demonstrating strong public support for most of these recommendations, and documents relevant state provisions that align — or don’t align — with the recommendations.

    Among the key state provisions proven to protect youths from legalized marijuana are requiring individuals to be 21 or older to buy, use, grow, process or transport it or to obtain a marijuana retail license; requiring retailers to check identification for age verification for sales; and requiring that marijuana packaging, labeling, and advertising not appeal to youths.


    June 2024