Marijuana Use Rises in Popularity Among Teens

Marijuana use is gaining in popularity among teens, according to Monitoring the Future, an annual survey of eighth, 10th, and 12th-graders, The New York Times reports. The survey found one of every 15 high school seniors smokes marijuana on an almost daily basis.

About 25 percent of teens who took part in the study said they used marijuana in the past year, an increase from 21 percent in 2007. Daily marijuana use is at a 30-year peak among high school seniors. The findings indicate a decline in the perceived risk of harm associated with marijuana use, according to a news release by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funds the survey.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the newspaper he believed the increasing prevalence of medicinal marijuana was a factor in the uptick. “These last couple years, the amount of attention that’s been given to medical marijuana has been huge,” he said. “And when I’ve done focus groups with high school students in states where medical marijuana is legal, they say ‘Well, if it’s called medicine and it’s given to patients by caregivers, then that’s really the wrong message for us as high school students.’”

Cigarette and alcohol use are at their lowest point since the survey began in 1975. Alcohol use in general and binge drinking in particular continued to gradually decline among teenagers. Energy drinks continue to be popular among teens—about one-third said they drink them.

The survey found 11.4 percent of high school seniors said they used synthetic marijuana, known as “Spice” and “K2,” in the past year. This was the first year the survey included questions about synthetic drugs.

Use of prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Adderall declined, as did use of sedatives and tranquilizers, the article noted. Cocaine use also decreased.

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    February 8, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    thats stupid, no idiot would ever agree to sell weed in such in obvious way, in front of a school bus. thats what the back of the gym is for. also, that guys gettin ripped off, i can get a little more than that for bout 15 dollars.

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    December 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    So either make ALL drugs that kids may abuse illegal – all Rx drugs that they get into, alcohol and tobacco – or stop the phony hypocritical attack on a substance that is, by comparison to most drugs, mild and beneficial to most. Having Mj illegal is a huge waste of lives and money.

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    Ken Wolski

    December 19, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    The Drug Czar believes the “increasing prevalence of medicinal marijuana was a factor” in the rise of teen marijuana use. So far, 16 states and the District of Columbia have rejected the Drug Czar’s belief that there are no accepted medical uses for marijuana and that marijuana is unsafe for use even under medical supervision. Another 10 states are considering similar laws. Scores of legitimate health care organizations support immediate safe and legal access to the medical benefits of marijuana. What is driving the medical marijuana movement is the emerging science that supports the safety and efficiacy of marijuana/cannabis for a wide range of diseases, symptoms and conditions. Would the Drug Czar have us stop talking about medical marijuana? This new field of bio-science, the Endocannabinoid System, will not be denied, despite the best efforts of the federal government to deny access to marijuana in order to conduct research. With access to the Internet, teens are doing their own research. They are weighing the competing claims of the Drug Czar versus the emerging science that supports medical marijuana. It’s possible that some teens are self-medicating with marijuana for a variety of disorders.

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    Jerome Livingston

    December 16, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    In my memior “Lust of a Dope Fiend” I speak about smoking refer in school. It begin very innocently hanging out with the guys, at parties. Ane eventually leading to harder drugs herion and cocaine. For years I was addicted to drugs. I would tell teens drugs will ruin your life, education and other positive goals.

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