But new figures out of Canada this week, which legalised recreational cannabis in 2018, showed use amongst 15- to 17-year-olds has declined in the past two years, while use amongst 18- to 24-year-olds had remained static.
According to the researchers behind the latest statistics for Aotearoa, the primary reason 14- and 15-year-olds aren’t smoking as much isn’t because they don’t want to.
“The evidence suggests that adolescents’ willingness to try cannabis has increased, but their opportunities for doing so have decreased due to less face-to-face time with friends and fewer drinking and smoking occasions,” researchers Jude Ball, Niveditha Gurram and Greg Martin wrote in the New Zealand Medical Journal.
The evidence for this is while monthly cannabis use by adolescents has declined from 9.9 to 7.8 percent over the last six years, the percentage who have ever tried it has risen from 13.6 percent to 14.2.
Bennett also said this week a drop in cannabis convictions over the past week was further proof legalisation wasn’t required. Massey University senior drug researcher Chris Wilkins said the drop was down to police focusing on harder drugs like meth, rather than decreasing cannabis usage.