A recent study by the National Institutes of health shows teen cannabis use increasing across the U.S. as perceptions of the of the plant as a dangerous drug have declined. Probably because of all of the bullshit fed to them over the years about cannabis being a harmful, life-wrecking substance turned out to be so wrong in the first place.
The NIH 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey polled 41,675 kids from 389 public and private schools around the country. Only 39 percent said marijuana was harmful and about 6.5 percent of the seniors say they smoke weed daily – up only slightly from ten years ago when 6 percent admitted to a daily toke.
Use among younger kids is up as well. Eighteen percent of 10th graders and 12 percent of eighth graders said they’d smoked it in the last month. That last part was somewhat alarming to the researchers, though they touted the same scare tactic crap that clueless drug warriors have been spouting for years
“We should be extremely concerned that 12 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds are using marijuana. The children whose experimentation leads to regular use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life,” Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement accompanying the study.
The study also points to the increased availability of medical marijuana over the last few years as fueling the increase. They note that 34 percent of seniors in medical pot states say they get it from a medical marijuana patient source, though the phrasing of the question was a bit off and implied that kids were getting it by using other people’s recommendations.
Researchers say it underscores the fact that regulations have done nothing to prevent kids from getting pot. Meanwhile, the Marijuana Policy Project says that the study shows that regulation can work and that increased regulation can keep pot out of the hands of minors.
“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,” MPP spokesman Mason Tvert told Reuters yesterday.
The study also had some positives, namely that other drug use was down among teens, including alcohol use which dropped from 15.6 percent in 2012 to 13.7 percent in 2013. The report also glossed over a much more dangerous statistic: kids reported abusing prescription drugs at a much higher rate, with 7.4 percent of all seniors saying they’ve taken Adderal or other “study drugs”.