Suspending kids for using marijuana leads to more – not less – pot use

Suspending kids from school for using marijuana is likely to lead to more — not less — pot use among their classmates, a new study finds.

Counseling was found to be a much more effective means of combating marijuana use. And while enforcement of anti-drug policies is a key factor in whether teens use marijuana, the way schools respond to policy violators matters greatly.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and in Australia, compared drug policies at schools in Washington state and Victoria, Australia, to determine how they impacted student marijuana use.

The results startled researchers: Students attending schools with suspension policies for illicit drug use were 1.6 times more likely than their peers at schools without such policies to use marijuana in the next year — and that was the case with the student body as a whole, not just those who were suspended

By contrast, the study found that students attending schools with policies of referring pot-using students to a school counselor were almost 50 percent less likely to use marijuana. Other ways of responding to policy violators — sending them to educational programs, referring them to a school counselor or nurse, expelling them or calling the police — were found to have no significant impact on marijuana use…

The researchers were initially most interested in teens’ use of alcohol and cigarettes, Catalano said. But after Washington legalized recreational marijuana use for adults in 2012, researchers decided to take a closer look at the data to determine how legalization might influence students in Washington versus their counterparts in Australia, where pot remains illegal…

Of course, the same applies to alcohol, cigarettes, unneeded stimulants – and watching reality TV.

3 thoughts on “Suspending kids for using marijuana leads to more – not less – pot use

  1. Jeff Spicoli says:

    “Cannabis-focused media is on the rise as the spread of legalization creates a demand for cannabis industry news.” http://fortune.com/2015/03/24/marijuana-media-news/ “The recent proliferation of marijuana media comes as more and more public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans now support legalizing the drug. Medical marijuana is already allowed in 23 states while recreational use is permitted in four, plus Washington, D.C. Several more states could legalize pot in 2016 elections. The drug remains illegal on the federal level, both medically and recreationally.
    Amid the increasing acceptance, legal marijuana sales are ballooning. Last year, that market grew 74% to $2.7 billion, according to The ArcView Group, a marijuana-focused venture capital firm.”

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