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2012-01-19 digital edition

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2012-01-19 / General Stories

Marijuana Use Rises Among Teens

Marijuana use is gaining in popularity among teens, according to Monitoring the Future, an annual survey of eighth, 10th, and 12thgraders, 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.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said, “These last couple years, the amount of attention that’s been given to medical marijuana has been huge, and high school students in states where medical marijuana is legal 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. 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. They also found cocaine use down among teens.

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