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Study: Pro-Pot Twitter Accounts Reach Hundreds of Thousands Of Kids

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In a trend decried as concerning by some, a recent study showed that marijuana-related Twitter accounts send messages to hundreds of thousands of followers each day, more than 70 percent of whom are the under the age of 19.

“It is important to remember that [marijuana] remains a dangerous drug of abuse,” said Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, an assistant professor of psychiatry and a lead researcher on the study. “I’ve been studying what is influencing attitudes to change dramatically and where people may be getting messages about marijuana that are leading them to believe the drug is not hazardous.”

The study, conducted by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and published online Friday in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, showed that 73 percent of followers of pro-weed Twitter accounts are 19 or younger and nearly 20 percent are 16 or younger.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com