Online marijuana stores make it easier for minors to buy marijuana, study finds | ET REALITY

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The investigation examined the age verification policies and other practices of 80 online dispensaries, based in 32 states, that sell marijuana to American customers.

The study found that 18.8 percent of dispensaries, or nearly one in five, “did not require formal age verification at any stage of the purchasing process.” And that more than 80 percent accepted “untraceable” payment methods, such as prepaid cards or cash, “thus allowing young people to hide their transactions,” the authors noted.

Of the dispensaries studied, nearly a third allowed delivery across state lines, and of those, 95 percent offered delivery to states with different marijuana laws than the online dispensary’s home state. Five percent of dispensaries offered student discounts.

Health officials have expressed concerns about the effects of marijuana use on the developing brain, particularly in an era of increased drug potency and widespread legalization. According to a 2022 survey Funded by the National Institutes of Health, 6.3 percent of 12th graders reported using cannabis daily in 2021, as did 2.1 percent of 10th graders and 0.7 percent of 10th graders. percent of eighth graders.

Periodic use was less. About a third of high school seniors had used marijuana at least once in 2021, along with 20 percent of 10th graders and 8.3 percent of eighth graders.

Marijuana use in these age groups fell during the pandemic; One theory is that young people found it harder to obtain drugs, including marijuana, and use them without supervision.

Online marijuana sales and ease of delivery would appear to facilitate minors’ access to the drug, the study authors noted. “It is imperative,” they wrote in their conclusion, “to require strict age verification procedures before purchasing cannabis online and establish strict surveillance of online marijuana dispensaries to protect young people.”

In the meantime, they added, “pediatricians and caregivers should be aware of the wide availability of online dispensaries and the potential spread of marijuana to minors.”

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