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Decline in Marijuana Use Up in Smoke: Marijuana Use On the Rise Amongst U.S. Teenagers

6 comments

According to a University of Michigan study for the National Institute for Drug Abuse, marijuana use trumps Vicodin, Ecstasy, alcohol and tobacco use amongst teenagers. Specifically, the researchers surveyed thousands of eighth-graders, high school sophomores, and seniors and found that marijuana use has increased across all three groups.

In the survey of 47,097 students, the researchers found that cigarette smoking, binge drinking, and methamphetamine use are down. However, the news on increased marijuana use is discouraging. Furthermore, despite the fact that marijuana is the most popular drug amongst teenagers, the researchers still found an increase in prescription drug abuse in the students, particularly Vicodin and Oxycontin.

Public health officials and marijuana legalization proponents are at odds over the news. For example, White House drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, attributes the increase in marijuana use to a lack of education about the dangers of smoking pot. He believes that the alarming trend emphasizes the greater need for parents and authorities to increase anti-marijuana campaigns. Conversely, advocates for marijuana legalization, such as the Marijuana Policy Project, argue that the increase in pot smoking points to the fact that marijuana use should be legalized and regulated. Furthermore, Marijuana Policy Project spokesman, Bruce Mirkin, argues that the decline in tobacco smoking amongst teenagers suggests that the legalization and regulation of cigarettes helped curb teenagers’ access and that a similar policy should be applied to marijuana.

6 Comments

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  1. homeskooled says:
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    If a correlation exists with lower consumption of other more harmful drugs, then let them have their weed!

  2. jeff says:
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    “However, the news on increased marijuana use is discouraging.”

    Subjective.

  3. Lucy says:
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    The dangers of marijuana use, is the loss of your scholarship if you get arrested. A stain on your record for life. The loss of your job if they find out you have a record. The seizure of everything you and your family have worked for, if caught selling it to make ends meet. I personally have had a loss of a young family member to the use of the legal FDA approved oxycotin. Marijuana has never killed anybody, ever. We should consider ourselves blessed if the children are using a substance safer than water. I do believe kids shouldn’t be doing any drugs. including most prescribed drugs. The side effects of these are very scary. To be avoided, if it is possible. Legalization and REGULATION of marijuana is a saner way to keep it out of their hands. Keeping it illegal doesn’t give us the tool to put an age limit on it. Drug inforcement admits it only removes around 10 percent of the total amount of drugs. Prohibition doesn’t work. I don’t want my grandchildren’s lives being destroyed by prohibition. I don’t want my tax money used to destroy the lives of anybody! Lets be smart and quit wasting our time, money and lives on the insanity of prohibition. Dr’s need to be able to handle drug abuse not the prison industrial complex.
    Good day!

  4. Concerned Parent says:
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    So does this mean teens are making the safer choice? If teens (or Americans of any age, for that matter) are using marijuana as an alternative to tobacco , alcohol , or prescription drug abuse, that’s a positive change . Yes, it would be nice if our kids weren’t using any of these drugs , but history suggests they are, so let’s hope they use the safer product (marijuana) instead of addictive, clearly dangerous drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs.

  5. paul says:
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    Portugal proved how to lower drug abuse. Legalize:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=portugal-drug-decriminalization

    But instead, last year the U.S. spent billions jailing over 800,000 marijuana users. Instead of drug treatment they get jail and fines, ruined job prospects, and exposure to more drugs.

    We have the highest incarceration rate in the world, and marijuana is more available than ever.

  6. Henry says:
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    A smart politician would jump on this in a heartbeat. It is a win win case. Marijuana is the safest of all recreational drugs. 1 in 20 will die in an alcohol related incident. I know about 8 people already in my short life. I know 2 others dead from prescription drugs.

    Marijuana is safer and people would drink less alcohol. Plus the alcohol and tobacco industry both fund the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
    Something to think about.

    With the growing costs of health insurance and prescription drugs that are highly addictive, dangerous, expensive and often times not adequately tested, it is unethical to tell patients that they need to buy the less effective and twice expensive drugs. If they do have terminal illness, who are we to tell them how to live the rest of their life. 80 year on a 5 billion year old planet is a fart in a snow storm. Life is too short already to be telling others how to live.

    Less government intrusion. Personal freedom.

    It costs 30,000 dollars annually per inmate. With 7.2 million people in prison, 66% of which are in for drugs, we spend 142,560,000,000$ a year or 1 trillion dollars every 7 years on drug offenders. Most of which are addicts. Rehab is cheaper and less destructive to society.

    For marijuana alone there are roughly 1 million incarcerated. That costs us 30,000,000,000$ a year. 30 Billion. Folks we are insane for spending that much. Marijuana is not worth it. Rehab is cheaper and less destructive to society. Plus many states incarcerate for anything above 30 grams.
    That is over 100$ a year you and me spend on weed, even if we don’t smoke it.

    Is america really that free if we are forced to spend that on drugs with our taxes just to keep the prison system going and to keep corrupt politicians, judges and the legal drug industry fatter?

    The environment. Hemp is far more renewable than cutting down a forest that took 200 years to grow. It also can be used to make biodegradable plastic. Just think about that alone the next time you read about the floating plastic island twice the size of texas in the pacific ocean. Don’t believe me?

    google:

    Great Pacific Garbage Patch