Rate of teens using marijuana falls to historic low

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2017/09/08/rate-of-teens-using-marijuana-falls-to-historic-low/


Despite the predictions of legalization opponents, new statistics show that the number of teens using marijuana has dropped to the lowest rate in over 20 years.

According to federal data released this week in the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 6.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 years old used pot daily in 2016, falling to its lowest number since 1994.

The same data show that adult use is rising, however. Last year, 20.8 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 to 25 used some form of cannabis at least once a month, rising to the highest rate since 1985. Similarly, the monthly use of adults ages 26 to 34 rose to 14.5 percent — also the highest since 1985.

The survey’s results challenge opponents of legalization who had contended that teen pot use would skyrocket after legalization. Twenty-nine states now provide legal access to medical cannabis, while eight states regulate marijuana like alcohol.

“Critics of legalization worry about the message being sent to youth by marijuana policy reform efforts, but the real message is that marijuana should only be used by responsible adults, and it seems to be sinking in. Regulating marijuana for adults reinforces that message and creates effective mechanisms for making it more difficult for teens to obtain marijuana,” said Morgan Fox, senior communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, in a written statement.

Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.

Oscar Pascual

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