A long-standing pushback for the legalization of marijuana was that it would cause more teenagers to smoke marijuana. This issue can now be studied because of the number of recent states that have legalized marijuana within the past few years. In fact, a survey conducted by Washington State every two years, analyzed the amount of marijuana used monthy by teenagers. They surveyed 230,000 students from 1,000 different schools in Washington and found that only 6 percent of eighth graders, 17 percent of 10th graders, and 52 percent of 12th graders had used marjuana within a month in 2016. These figures are the exact same as they were for teen use back in 2014. Thus, debunking the myth that legalizing marijuana would cause an up-spike in marijuana consumption in teenagers.
As for teens in the state of Colorado, they have been found to be in a steady decline. From a survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environement, 21 percent of youth in Colorado had smoked marijuana within the past 30 days which is down from 25 percent in 2009 when marijuana was legalized, and lower than the national average.
By looking at these statistics, opponents of the legalization of marijuana can see that legalizing recreational marijuana does not lead to an increase in teenage consumption of marijuana, but rather a decline. Mason Tvert, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project said that the "levels of teen use in Colorado have not increased since it ended marijuana prohibition, and they are lower than the national average. Elected officials and voters in states that are considering similar proposals should be wary of claims that it will hurt teens."
Following what Tvert stated, it is true that these statistics are debunking theories that opposers have long-used in opposition to legalizing marijuana. As time passes, researchers will be able to add onto these statistics and we'll be able to see the long-lasting effects of legalizing marijuana in the United States.