Higher taxes and caution in marketing can keep weed away from kids

Even though several US states have voted to legalize marijuana, it's still not clear how best to regulate it. But there are steps that legislators can take to prevent the newly legal drug from falling into the hands of minors, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. A new report in the medical journal Pediatrics outlines four tested tactics for proposed regulation.

Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. have passed laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, and the use of medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. While 14 US states have decriminalization laws in place, which reduce the severity of sentencing for marijuana-related crimes, the report's authors argue that legalization and regulation, not decriminalization, will ultimately lead to the safest use and distribution of marijuana.

The relative novelty of legalized weed creates an opportunity for regulators...

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