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Teenage marijuana use does not lead to behavioral problems, researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center recently found.

The Center's study, published on Nov. 20 in the science journal Addiction, found that marijuana use does not increase conduct problems like school truancy or stealing. They instead found that teenagers who already have conduct problems are more likely to start using the drug.

“Cannabis use in and of itself does not appear to lead to conduct problems or increasing attraction to peers who use cannabis,” Annenberg Public Policy Center Research Director Dan Romer, one of the study’s authors, said in a Nov. 26 press release.

“Interestingly, the results show that not only do conduct problems such as school truancy and theft predict cannabis use, but adolescents who display conduct problems are also drawn to cannabis-using peers,” Ivy Defoe, the study’s lead author and former Annenberg Public Policy Center postdoctoral fellow, said in a press release.

To conduct the study, researchers followed a group of teenagers for eight years. The researchers interviewed and tested the teens for marijuana use once a year and analyzed how the results compare with their behavior. 

“Previous studies have not been as able to isolate the effects of cannabis use in adolescents,” Romer said. “But because we had measurements over the entire period of adolescence, we were able to disentangle the effects of cannabis use itself from other influences.”

Last month, Penn Medicine was also recently approved by Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf to begin research on the effects of medical marijuana. However, it has yet to start because of a recent court case brought up by a group of cannabis companies who claim the vetting process of finding a partner cannabis company would result in unfair practices.