The Lure Of Illegality

Contrary to popular predictions, legalization of marijuana in Colorado has not increased use among teens; quite the opposite, in fact:

“Cannabis, now that it’s legal, kind of is an old person’s drug,” he said. “It’s something that kids are seeing adults use all over the place. It just doesn’t seem as cool to kids anymore.”

The same phenomenon occurred years ago, when Amsterdam legalized the stuff. It seems that there’s a certain cachet attached to illegal substances, particularly so among the always-rebellious youth crowd; make it legal, and suddenly it’s a whole lot less interesting. LSD use, for example, didn’t really take off until the substance was criminalized in 1967 (1966 in California). Prior to that, though it had been around for years, it wasn’t especially popular. Criminalization established its street cred.

Want teens to use condoms? Make possession illegal.

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About maxredlines

experience: biology, zoology, psychology. authored/co-authored papers appearing in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as numerous professional proceedings. authored articles appearing in computer-oriented publications. featured in publications ranging from books to New Yorker magazine to television.
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2 Responses to The Lure Of Illegality

  1. lectorconstans says:

    Great idea!

    The next generation’s youth always seems to rebel in opposites to the last generation. Since this one goes for shabby dressing, I fully expect the next one to go around in tuxedos, singing Noel Coward songs.

    • maxredlines says:

      Tuxes would be a bit much, but I imagine we’ll see fewer tattoos and piercings. It’s long been a source of amusement that so many “express their individuality” by doing what everyone else in their cohort does.

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