Marijuana use by young people is not predictive of later conduct problems, such as school truancy or theft, according to data published in the journal Addiction.
A team of investigators from the United States and the Netherlands assessed the long-term association between self-reported marijuana use and conduct problems in a cohort of 364 racially and socio-economically diverse youth.
They reported, “Change in cannabis use did not predict changes in conduct problems or peer cannabis use over time.” Rather, they acknowledged, “[I]ncreases in conduct problems predicted increases in cannabis use.”
Authors concluded: “Conduct programs predicted cannabis use but not vice-versa, particularly during mid-late adolescence. … If youth with CP use unprescribed cannabis to cope with their condition, then healthier alternative coping strategies and support should be made available.”