Marijuana Use Shows Little Change Among Teens

Those are some of the results published in the annual Monitoring the Future study, a survey of more than 45,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 395 public and private schools. It was released Wednesday.

Each year, the survey gathers information from teens about their use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, as well as asking them questions regarding their attitudes about the drugs.

This year, 6.5% of 12th-graders said they smoke marijuana daily. That's slightly down from 2011, when 6.6% said they smoked it daily.

Teens' perception about the harmfulness of using marijuana was down, which may signal future increases in marijuana use, according to the study's principal investigator, Lloyd Johnston.

Overall, 41.7% of eighth-graders perceive occasional marijuana use as harmful and 66.9% see regular use as harmful. As teens get older, their perception of harm decreases, the survey showed, with only 20.6% of 12th-graders seeing regular use as harmful.

"Marijuana use that begins in adolescence increases the risk they will become addicted to the drug," says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement. "The risk of addiction goes from about 1 in 11 overall to about 1 in 6 for those who start using in their teens, and even higher among daily smokers."

Image: Smoke, via Shutterstock

1 Comment

  1. Great information! Especially about the earlier a teen starts using marijuana the more likely they'll become addicted to it later in life.

    As a parent of a 5 year-old, I'm very careful with the cannabis and especially the edibles we occasionally have here in the house. It's not so much a problem now, because she's so young. It's more about developing a solid habit and mind-set of keeping our goodies locked, way up, and hidden.

    We keep it locked not just because it's just good parenting, I've also heard that cannabis is wrong for a still developing mind (anything under about 21 years).

    And I know we would be horrified to learn someday - like years from now - that our girl developed a taste for cannabis because we weren't careful enough about where and how we kept it in the house.

    I'm sure at some point, we'll reveal all to her - like when she graduates from college (LOL), and maybe even get her something from StoreMyStash so she can do the same thing if she chooses to bring cannabis into her home.

    If she has a stunned look on her face to learn how much we know about about cannabis and that it was in the house all along, we will know we did it right.

    So thanks for a great article.

    DB


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