2. Won't making cannabis legal increase its use?

2. Won't making cannabis legal increase its use?


TOP Takeaway: The evidence shows that legalisation of cannabis has no impact on the overall levels of use. Cannabis use is prevalent in society and most of those that choose to use it have done so regardless of its legal status.

We understand that this may be slightly counterintuitive however the evidence shows that criminalisation of cannabis has had no significant statistical impact on reducing use, nor is there any evidence that decriminalisation increases use.[1] [2] [3] [4] Under a fully legalised and commercial market (there are only a small number of examples where this is the case, one being Colorado) evidence suggest that legalisation has decreased use of cannabis amongst youth, presumably thanks to increased education. For adults there has been a small increase of cannabis use and related outcomes, although this seems to be driven by a falling price as growers scale up production.[5] [6] It is important to note that TOP’s policy has much stronger regulation and price control than these full commercial models.

Based on this information we can say that the reason the usage rates should not change is because cannabis is so prevalent in society that those who choose to use it have done so regardless of its legal status and will continue to do so.

[1] https://academic.oup.com/bjc/article-abstract/50/6/999/404023/What-Can-We-Learn-From-The-Portuguese?redirectedFrom=PDF

[2] https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa799.pdf

[3] https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/miron/files/decrim_update_2007.pdf

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448346/?tool=pmcentrez

[5] https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa799.pdf

[6] https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/docs/reports/2016-SB13-283-Rpt.pdf