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Study: Legalization of marijuana has not led to increased use among young adults

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DENVER -- A study about marijuana suggests new laws in Colorado have not encouraged teens to try the drug.

For parents who use marijuana, 75 percent of their children say they have also tried the drug. And teens in Colorado don't use it any more than they do in the rest of the country.

That's important because a lot of people were worried that Amendment 64 would encourage more children to try marijuana. But according to this survey, that's not the case.

The study by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation asked about 1,000 young adults ages 18 to 25 around the country about their marijuana habits. About 40 percent say they've tried it before. For those who live in Colorado, about half say they've used it.

While the numbers for Colorado are slightly above average, experts say it's still very much on par with the rest of the country and they don't think the higher rates are tied to marijuana legalization.

In fact, the study says the biggest contributing factor is not the legality of pot but whether a person's parents use it. Still, Colorado has several anti-pot campaigns geared toward young teens, including large cages in Denver that show kids to not not be a lab rat since the long-term health effects still aren't known.

Also, about 60 percent of marijuana users say they don't think it has a negative affect on the brain. That's where critics say the industry needs the most work because they want to make sure everyone at least understands the potential risks.