Teens Shouldn’t Smoke Weed, But a New Study Says It Won’t Cause Behavior Problems If They Do

Consider it an important lesson in foundational statistics. According to a new study, pot use most likely does not cause behavior problems in adolescents and teens. Rather, troubled youth are more likely to begin using cannabis in the first place.

The research, which undermines previous assumptions about marijuana and juvenile behavior, was conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC).

“Cannabis use in and of itself does not appear to lead to conduct problems or increasing attraction to peers who use cannabis," AAPC Director and the study’s coauthor Dan Romer said.

That conclusion was based on surveys and urine screenings from nearly 400 10 to 12-year-olds in Philadelphia given over a period of six years, with follow-ups two years after that. Because the researchers observed the subjects over such a long period of time, they were able to isolate certain factors and get a better snapshot of exactly what was influencing any poor behavior. While behavior problems were associated with greater marijuana usage, the internals suggest this is because marijuana is being used as a coping mechanism by troubled youth.

You can read more about the study at Science Daily