A report released Thursday by the federal government challenges the assertion that loosening state marijuana laws will lead to more teens getting high.
In its latest biennial survey of high school students, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that teen use of marijuana remained flat between 2011 and 2013. During those years, several states either decriminalized small amounts of the plant or launched medical marijuana programs.
When asked whether they’d ever smoked marijuana, about 40 percent of teens responded yes. In 1991 that number was only 31 percent. It peaked at 47 percent in 1999 and has fallen steadily since then.
The new survey is being championed by activists as further proof that the culture warriors of the status quo have blown things out of proportion. Minnesota, of course, just approved the most conservative medical marijuana bill in the country, but more states are flirting with reform — a prospect that seemed impossible only a couple years ago.
“The public dialogue surrounding marijuana is more balanced and honest than ever before,” says Mason Tvert, the Marijuana Policy Project’s director of communications, in a statement. “We should be encouraging teens to take part in it, not shielding them from it.”
Why? Head over to the Minneapolis City Pages for more.