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U.S. Cannabis Legalization and Use of Vaping and Edible Products Among Youth


Borodovsky JT, Lee DC, Crosier BS, Gabrielli JL, Sargent JD, Budney AJ


Researchers examined relationships between provisions of U.S. legal cannabis laws (LCL) (e.g., medical and/or recreational cannabis laws that permit home cultivation and/or dispensaries) and the likelihood and age of first use of cannabis vaping and edibles among youth.


Researchers used Facebook advertising to recruit 2630 young cannabis users (ages 14-18) to complete an online survey about cannabis use, mode of consumption, and age of cannabis use onset. Researchers coded states for LCL status and provisions (e.g., LCL status duration, density of dispensaries, recreational or medical cannabis laws, home cultivation status).

  • Participants in states with a longer LCL duration (≥10 years) were more likely to have tried vaping and edibles than those in states with more recent LCLs (<5 years).
  • Recreational LCLs were related to a greater likelihood of youth having tried vaping and edibles compared to medical LCLs only or no LCLs.
  • Home cultivation LCLs were related to youth having tried edibles and earlier onset of edible use than laws prohibiting home cultivation.
  • Understanding a state’s LCL status and provisions can help researchers, clinicians, and public health officials address cannabis use in youth.
  • Lawmakers should consider how LCL provisions can shape youth cannabis use behavior when creating state LCLs.
  • With the rapid evolution of cannabis legalization in the U.S., it is important to monitor youth cannabis use as LCLs change and mature.
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Borodovsky JT, Lee DC, Crosier BS, Gabrielli JL, Sargent JD, Budney AJ. U.S. cannabis legalization and use of vaping and edible products among youth. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017;177:299-306. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.02.017