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Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Flat, Use of Alcohol and Cigarettes at Record Lows

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 11, 2015

    Teen Marijuana Use FlatCurrent use of marijuana by those between the ages of 12 to 17 has remained largely unchanged over the past decade, while young people’s self-reported consumption of alcohol and cigarettes has fallen to record lows, according to federal data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    According to SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the percentage of respondents ages 12 to 17 who reported past-month use of marijuana remained steady from 7.6 percent in 2004 to 7.4 percent in 2014. By contrast, teens’ use of tobacco, cigarettes, and alcohol fell dramatically during this same period. Over the past ten years, adolescents’ use of tobacco fell from 14.4 percent to 7 percent, their use of cigarettes fell from 11.9 percent to 4.9 percent, and their use of alcohol fell from 17.6 percent to 11.5 percent. Binge drinking by young people fell from 11.1 percent in 2004 to 6.1 percent in 2014.

    Self-reported marijuana use by older respondents, particularly among those age 26 and older has increased in recent years. By contrast, since 2012, when voters in Colorado and Washington decided to permit the commercial production and sale of cannabis to adults, youth marijuana use in the past 30 days is virtually unchanged (7.2 percent in 2012, 7.4 percent in 2014).

    Of all estimated past-month illicit drug consumers, 82 percent are users of marijuana, the survey reported.

    The data once again undermines the concern that liberalizing marijuana laws for adults will inherently increase youth marijuana use and indicates that a pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for the legal, licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults but restricts its use among young people — coupled with a legal environment that fosters open, honest dialogue between parents and children about cannabis’ potential harms — best reduces the risks associated with the plant’s use or abuse.

    Nonetheless, marijuana law reform opponents are refusing to acknowledge these positive trends, instead falsely stating that marijuana use is “continuing to rise among youth.”

    10 Responses to “Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Flat, Use of Alcohol and Cigarettes at Record Lows”

    1. The aparent outsider says:

      No shit……. It’s not a problem, especially to our youth, legalize, tax, and reap the benefits. How my people have to suffer to get this message though to every American voter!!! Fuck me this should be written in crayon at this point!!!

      Stop fucking around MR. Obama, I smell a executive action in order due….. for assignment and signing!!!

      Iran deal is great, but WHAT ABOUT OUR US CITIZENS @ HOME?????????? Come on !!! 7 years in office, it’s time to solidify your place in history as the greatest US president IN.l History!!!

    2. Galileo Galilei says:

      A bit long-winded, but worth repeating:

      “The data once again undermines the concern that liberalizing marijuana laws for adults will inherently increase youth marijuana use and indicates that a pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for the legal, licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to adults but restricts its use among young people — coupled with a legal environment that fosters open, honest dialogue between parents and children about cannabis’ potential harms — best reduces the risks associated with the plant’s use or abuse.”

    3. Matthew says:

      Washington Post conclusively establishes much more, about our adversaries’ lies:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/09/12/leading-anti-marijuana-group-gets-its-facts-wrong/

      Washington Post’s, Mr. Christopher Ingraham, is, quite – the finest journalist in mainstream media, as usual.

      We have always been stymied, by imtimidation of any type of, “corruption of minors,” allegations, into – condemning Cannabis use by those, who are, under, adult age.

      Meanwhile – our total concensus, on our mandating the universal formation of world drug policy – around anonymous ‘surveys’ of minors – is our single worst concession of NORML, etc, to our adversaries!

      Man, I took those surveys, on the back of a 3 1/2″ X 5″ index card, assured to be kept purely anonymous, as our private schools were relegated to participating in, in the early ’80’s… We all lied, as however may have added a passing fancy:
      Today, our movement’s leaders still endorse propulsion of drigwar, over such childish machinations.

      I OBJECT!

    4. Matthew says:

      We still fearfully revert to endorsing the drugwar, just because and when schoolkids brag that they can get weed – on some anonymous, index-card ‘surveys’!!

      (Sumation of my complaint, above)

    5. Julian says:

      Are we ready to admit what we allow and prescribe our children to treat their growing pains, neurological disorders and overall health maintenance?

      It appears that on one end, people are indeed being more honest in their marijuana surveys as we continue to legalize.

      On the other end, marijuana has a wonderful capacity to effectively and safely supply medicinal and social, recreational needs with MUCH less use, side effects or much less abuse, by any definition of the word, than alcohol, tobacco or opiate pharmaceuticals. When I was 18 I was smoking cigarettes heavily for more than a year, beginning with this girl I was with who wanted me to smoke to compliment her habit. Then I smoked my first joint. Just once; I didn’t touch another joint for at least 6 months, and so on from there. As for cigarettes? I went from smoking a pack a day to never having smoked another tobacco cigarette for the rest of my life. Factor THAT into our drug consumption charts.

    6. Julian says:

      I also kicked the other bad habit, that girl I was with. Not only could I not stand the smell of cigarettes anymore, it cured my depression by offering me a new perspective, a desire to exercise, and apparently better taste in both diet and women. Interesting; marijuana has a quality-of-life factor from single-time consumption than can effect the most fateful decisions we ever make. How do we even quantify that?

    7. CannaGary says:

      I have watched cigarettes and alcohol kill and ruin many lives!
      I personally was tested by and have put them both in the past.

      Yet when it comes to Cannabis, I have found it is only our fearful and bigoted lies and laws that cause harm from this plant.

      One of our bodies most important systems the Endocannabinoid system is something to be investigated by all, to find the truth of this amazing plant & better health.

      CannaGary

    8. Galileo Galilei says:

      @Julian

      Good for you! My late brother shortened his life with an early introduction to nicotine and a resulting lifelong addiction.

      He was the younger than me, but the nicotine lined his face prematurely–people began to think he was older.

      I wouldn’t have believed you could successfully substitute marijuana for tobacco to get off the latter. Maybe your post will save someone else in the future.

    9. mexweed says:

      Obvious to everyone by now that this plant species shaped its handfinger leaf to be a friendly gesture to 2-meter high standlegged humans who imitaceously evoluted its upright posture even at cost of losing the opposable thumbdigit from the shodden hindfeet. And humans long since (except for the Tobacco Age, World Wars and all that jazz) adopted this handfplant to be its vegetative doggie (or much as the cat, fourfooted claws and all that, adopted her catnip).

      veggie anima
      ___________________

      Cannabis Canis
      Hanf Hund
      dog dagga
      retriever riefer
      poodle pot

      @Julian, trying to get the sequence right, the elimination of a pack-a-day habit occurred within (how many) days or months after that first and only joint with assistance of further cannabis? Anyway starting to notice diet, exercise, perspective etc., for whatever reason, was the key. (Economic: in today’s money in northern high tax states a pack a day is $4000 a year.)

      By the way I suspect a toke of basil, marjoram, oregano rosemary, sage, savory, thyme can achieve similar results. But cannabis will have credit for having first educated us how to use those.

    10. mexweed says:

      Apology and Correction: question should read “without assistance of further cannabis?”

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