Teen use of marijuana rises
A recent survey by the University of Michigan for the National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates an upward trend in teen use of marijuana and prescription drugs. On the other hand, teens have cut back on smoking cigarettes, binge drinking and methamphetamine use.
Marijuana use by eighth graders rose to 11.8% in 2009 compared to 10.9% in 2008. Tenth graders use was 26.7%, up from 23.9% in 2008. Researchers attributed the rise partly to the national debate over medical use of marijuana which can make the drugs seem safer to teenagers.
The study also indicated that fewer teens see a “great risk” in occasionally smoking marijuana. Among eighth graders, only 26% perceived any danger in using Ecstasy compared with 42% in 2004.