Reducing the Risk and Prevalence of Cannabis Use Disorder in Queer High Schoolers
Keywords:cannabis, substance use, substance abuse, queer youth, LGBTQ youth, mental health, queer health, health equity, marijuana, health intervention
Over the past few decades, the nature of cannabis in American society has changed dramatically. Cannabis is steadily increasing in potency and making a mainstream entrance into our society as it is gradually decriminalized and legalized around the country. With these changes comes a need to investigate the effects of the increasing reach of cannabis on adolescents. Particularly, high schoolers are at an age when they are slowly gaining autonomy and seeking to make adult decisions. Specifically, queer youth face injustice and inequity when it comes to housing, schooling, parenting, and medical care; all of these factors combine into increased risk for cannabis use disorder (CUD) in queer youth. This paper will outline the ideal combination of protective factors and reduction of risk factors created through individual-, school-, and policy-level interventions that would hopefully reduce the risk and prevalence of CUD in queer high schoolers.