Teen Use of Cannabis Down in 2017

New federal data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that teen marijuana use saw a nationwide decrease last year. The Washington Post reported that drug use in California, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey and Texas also saw a decrease in the teen use of marijuana.

In Colorado, there was also a decrease in the teen use of alcohol, heroin, and tobacco as well. Colorado used to be the number 1 state for teen marijuana use, but the state has moved to number 7 – a significant decrease. Advocates say that the state’s tough regulations make it more difficult for teens to get marijuana. Local law enforcement is in charge of regulations along with stiff penalties for sales to minors has contributed to the decrease.

The numbers of adults using alcohol decreased in Colorado as well. Adults between 18 and 25 drinking alcohol monthly went down by 4 percentage points, suggesting that young adults prefer marijuana to alcohol now that marijuana is legal.

Study Finds That Teen Use of Vaping Has Gone Up

The Chicago Tribune reported at least 1 in 10 seniors in high school have vaped with weed at least once in the past year, with 1 in 17 students using marijuana on a daily basis.

The survey was conducted by the University of Michigan, and researchers were surprised to find that 1 in 10 teens used vaporizers to smoke marijuana. Vaping has become quite popular among teenagers, and those that admitted to vaping said they were comfortable vaping because it is more discreet than smoking a joint or from a pipe and they also feel that vaping is safer.

Approximately 45,000 teens were included in the study, which surveyed kids in the eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade. The study also concluded that teen use of marijuana increased by 1 percent overall.

Attitudes About Marijuana Use Among Young People Have Changed

 

Syda Productions / Shutterstock
Syda Productions / Shutterstock
Attitudes about marijuana consumption have decreased among young people. Last year, the survey found that 29 percent of teens in high school, compared to 78 percent in 1991, thought that there was a big safety risk by consuming marijuana on a regular basis.

 

Teen marijuana use can impair perception, short-term memory, and judgment. Other problems from adolescent marijuana use include slower brain development, impaired memory, and decreased critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. Teen use of marijuana in adolescents can also affect cognitive skills as well as lower IQ’s, and the earlier one starts using marijuana, the worse the brain will be affected.

Researchers also found that teen use of tobacco was lower than teen marijuana use. Only 5 percent of teenagers surveyed smoked cigarettes, but 15 percent said they had smoked weed in the past 30 days.

The study also indicated that teen use of fatal drugs such as cocaine and heroin is in a continuous decline and is at the lowest number in 43 years.

There are 29 states (along with Washington, D.C.) with legal marijuana, and even though states continue to legalize it, marijuana is still classified as a schedule I drug along with heroin.