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Majority of high school seniors don't think smoking pot regularly is a big deal

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More than 60 percent of American high school seniors do not think regular marijuana use is harmful, a new survey conducted by the National Institutes of Health's Monitoring the Future project finds.

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That figure is up from 55 percent in 2012 and considerably higher than rates from the past two decades.

The survey also found 6.5 percent of 12th-graders smoke marijuana daily, up from 6 percent in 2003 and 2.4 percent in 1993.

It also showed that marijuana use increases with age.

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the seniors say they smoked marijuana in the month before the survey, and just over 36 percent say they smoked it during the past year.

Among 10th-graders, 4 percent say they use marijuana daily, 18 percent within the past month and 30 percent in the past year.

More than 12 percent of eighth-graders say they used marijuana in the past year, the survey found.

By contrast, use of alcohol and cigarettes among teens continues to steadily decline.

"These increases in marijuana use over the past few years are a serious setback in our nation's efforts to raise a healthy generation of young people," Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement.

Researchers say the results are also troubling because pot has gotten stronger over the years.

"This is not just an issue of increased daily use," National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora D. Volkow said in announcing the findings. "It is important to remember that over the past two decades, levels of THC - the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana - have gone up a great deal, from 3.75 percent in 1995 to an average of 15 percent in today's marijuana cigarettes. Daily use today can have stronger effects on a developing teen brain than it did 10 or 20 years ago."

Marijuana legalization advocates quickly called on the institute to study whether regulating marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes could produce similar reductions in use among teens.

"The results suggest that regulating alcohol and cigarettes is successfully reducing teen use, whereas marijuana prohibition has been unsuccessful," Mason Tvert, director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement. "At the very least, this data should inspire NIDA to examine the possibility that regulating marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes could be a more effective approach than the current system."

For anti-drug advocates, there was at least some good news: The survey showed decreases in abuse of pain relievers and synthetic drugs among teens.

Just 2.3 percent of seniors admitted they abuse Ritalin, while abuse of the pain reliever Vicodin (5.3 percent) was down more than 50 percent from 2003. The use of synthetic marijuana dropped to 7.9 percent among high school seniors from 11.3 percent last year.

And the use of bath salts is "at or under 1 percent in all three grades."

Abuse of Adderal, however, remains high, with 7.4 percent of seniors reporting taking it for nonmedical reasons in the past year.


How many of you believe that their teen feels the same?


by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM
Replies (21-23):
by Bronze Member on Dec. 21, 2013 at 9:32 AM

I know my son doesn't use any drugs.  He doesn't smoke or drink, either.  With him, I worry most about alcohol, but so far we're OK.

by Emily on Dec. 22, 2013 at 12:41 AM

 Agree 100%

Quoting bizzeemom2717: One of reasons many teens feel it's ok, another reason parents chose to bury heads in sand and don't know if kids are using or not. And sadly sometimes it's just the drug culture that hooks kids into MJ because its looked at as "casual" even though it does TREMENDOUS brain damage in teens ESP to the frontal lobe of brain that is supp to be growing during teens years as kids develop common sense through logic and reasoning skills..smoking pot shuts that all down. Shuts down motivation drive as well. It's a joke to say its a "safe" drug. Yes I do work at an out patient drug and alcohol treatment center so I see this and the effects on the teens and their familes every day. Marijuana can actually do more brain damage LONG term than opiates like heroin.

Quoting sahlady:

visit some of the groups here on cm and you will find that many MOMS have the same opinion.


by Emily on Dec. 22, 2013 at 12:50 AM


Quoting atlmom2: Mine do not.
Sadly many adults smoke daily and think it is fine.
Our school random drug and alcohol tests.

 I have a close friend from high school.He daughters are a senior in h.s. and a soph in college.She is very ,very strict .Boys ,proper food ,grades ,across the board.Yet she lights up every night.I find it odd.

We also had casual friends that both were laid off several years ago.They both got much lower paying jobs.They had to sell their house and buy a much smaller one.They also smoked every night.They even talked about how much more they were smoking every night due to the stress.I just thought that was weird...very broke yet buying pot.A beer or two is much cheaper and relaxing also..I don't understand SMH.

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