In the United States, you have to be 21-years-old before you can buy a cigarette, alcohol, or recreational marijuana. Unlike cigarettes and alcohol, the legal age for marijuana is decided by states and not the federal government. Why states have settled on 21 as the legal age, meanwhile, is a bit nebulous — some lawmakers argue it’s to keep weed out of schools, while others say it should be treated similarly to alcohol.
According to a new study, Americans might be a bit overzealous in their restricting when it comes to who can access the drug.
The minimum legal age for smoking weed should be around 19 YEARS OLD, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal BMC Public Health. At that age, negative impacts on long-term health, educational attainment, mental health, and physical health are minimized, the study suggests.
The legal age for marijuana use in Canada, where these researchers are based, varies depending on the province where a person lives.
In most Canadian provinces the legal age for cannabis purchasing is 19 — except Alberta where it is 18. Quebec, however, raised that age to 21 in January 2020. The situation in Quebec is more indicative of the United States cannabis landscape. [Read more at Inverse]