Prohibition Fails Again: Teen Pot Use Increases


One in four American teenagers has tried marijuana. Two out of the other three want to know if you can “hook them up.”

​An annual survey released Tuesday by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America indicates that the number of American teenagers who use marijuana has increased for the first time in 10 years. One in four teens, 25 percent of those in grades 9 through 12, say they’ve used cannabis in the past month, up from 19 percent last year.

“These latest numbers show that our current marijuana policies — which keep marijuana unregulated and in the hands of drug dealers — are clearly not working to help reduce teen use,” said Kurt A. Gardinier, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Photo: MPP
Kurt Gardinier, MPP: “Drug dealers do not check IDs”

​”But if marijuana were taxed and regulated, and sold only by licensed merchants who would be required to check IDs, we could much better control marijuana and help to keep it out of the hands of teenagers,” Gardinier said. “That’s why cigarette smoking among teens has continued to drop since the early ’90’s, while teen marijuana use has not.”
“Drug dealers do not check IDs,” Gardinier said.
In the Netherlands, marijuana is sold in regulated establishments to adults who must show proof of age. As a result, according to a 2008 World Health Organization survey, the overall rate of cannabis use in the Netherlands is less than half what it is in the United States.
Additionally, only 7 percent of Dutch teens have tried marijuana by age 15. In the U.S., as many as 20.2 percent of teens have tried marijuana by age 15, according to government estimates.