Another Survey Finds Legal Pot Hasn’t Sent Teen Use Higher

 In Lifestyle, National News, Recreational Marijuana

American teenagers are not using marijuana in greater numbers even as states have legalized the drug for adult recreational use, a third national survey has found.

In fact, past-month marijuana use is on a two-decade slide among high school students, according to a statistical analysis of results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, published Thursday.

The survey is conducted every other year among a representative sample of U.S. high school students. The 2015 results indicate a statistically significant downward trend in past-month marijuana use since 1995 and a downward trend in lifetime use since 1997.

Despite increasingly liberal state laws and public attitudes, students’ reported lifetime pot use fell more than 2 percentage points to 38.6 percent in 2015. Past-month use slipped more slightly to 21.7 percent, though neither change is itself statistically significant.

The results mirror the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey, whose eighth-, 10th- and 12th-grade respondents reported a collective non-statistically significant drop in past-month use, from 14.4 percent in 2014 to 14 percent, even as they viewed pot use as less risky.

A third federally funded survey, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found in 2014 that reported past-month pot use among people ages 12 to 17 ticked up from 7.1 percent in 2013 to 7.4 percent, a non-statistically significant increase and still below the 2011 rate of 7.9 percent. The 2015 results of that survey have not been released.


Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

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