Youth’s Proximity to Marijuana Retailers and Advertisements: Factors Associated with Washington State Adolescents’ Intentions to Use Marijuana

Primary author: Stacey Hust
Co-author(s): Jessica Willoughby; Leticia Couto; Jiayu Li

Primary college/unit: Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Campus: Pullman


The current study explored the influences of advertising exposure, numbers of marijuana retailers, distance to retailers, and constructs from the Integrative Model of Behavioral Prediction, including outcome beliefs, perceived norms, and efficacy, on youth’s intentions to use marijuana in a state in which the use of recreational marijuana is legal. A state-wide online cross-sectional survey of 350 adolescents ages 13-17, residing in Washington state, was conducted in June 2018. The results of the regression analysis suggest that exposure to marijuana advertising, positive and negative outcome beliefs, and perceived peer norms were associated with intention to use marijuana. Distances to retailers moderated the relationships between exposure to advertising and intentions as well as between positive outcome beliefs and intentions. States that have legalized recreational marijuana may want to consider the location of retailers in relation to neighborhoods and advertising regulations to reduce appeal to youth. Additionally, prevention efforts could aim to influence outcome beliefs and norms in an attempt to reduce adolescents’ intentions to use recreational marijuana.