The results of a new study published in the journal Addiction earlier this month challenged the United States’ “provincial” drug policy rhetoric, especially as it relates to youth. The study compared data on cannabis use among US teens to newly available numbers on usage rates in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. The results: The Dutch have about 700 adults-only clubs that sell 50 to 150 metric tons of cannabis per year, yet Dutch teens report lower levels of weed usage and availability than youth in the United States. The author of the study, Robert J. MacCoun, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and Boalt School of Law, shared with Legalization Nation some thoughts on what’s going on:
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Legalization Nation: It seems like the major take-away from your paper is that marijuana stores can cause an increase in use, but only a modest one and it doesn’t lead to harder drugs.