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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Teenagers See Less Risk With Marijuana Use

English: A photograph of hemp (Cannabis sativa...
Despite research indicating that marijuana use has a profound effect on the developing brain of teenagers, the number of teens who think there's a serious risk from being a regular marijuana user is declining, according to a new survey. It is likely that the drop is associated with the changing views of adults and for the first time even more than half of the country feel that marijuana should be legal, according to a new Gallup poll.

The annual, Monitoring the Future, survey found that 39.5 percent of 12th graders believe regular marijuana use is harmful, down from 44.1 percent last year. The survey measures drug use and attitudes among students in grades 8, 10 and 12. A month prior to the survey, almost 23 percent of seniors said they smoked marijuana and just over 36 percent smoked it during the past year. 

The numbers indicate that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke marijuana daily, up from 6 percent in 2003 and 2.4 percent in 1993, CNN reports. 

 

“This is not just an issue of increased daily use,” National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora D. Volkow, MD said in a news release. “It is important to remember that over the past two decades, levels of THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – have gone up a great deal, from 3.75 percent in 1995 to an average of 15 percent in today’s marijuana cigarettes. Daily use today can have stronger effects on a developing teen brain than it did 10 or 20 years ago.”

Fortunately, research showed that synthetic marijuana use is on the decline by 3.4 percent amongst high school seniors and less than 1 percent of all students used bath salts. 

 

“Synthetic drugs are particularly dangerous because their ingredients are unknown, they have not been tested for safety and their ever-changing ingredients can be unusually powerful,” said lead researcher Lloyd Johnston. “Users really don’t know what they are getting.”
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