Youth Marijuana Use Fell By 17 Percent Over Past Decade, Study Finds


By Steve Birr

Marijuana legalization is not igniting a smoking crisis among young Americans, according to a study showing steady declines in youth pot use over more than a decade.

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration investigated how often kids ages 12 to 17 used weed between 2002 and 2014. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, revealed that the prevalence of past-year marijuana use for youth dropped 17 percent over the recorded period, NORML reported Tuesday.

The researchers also found a 25 percent decline in the prevalence of youth abusing marijuana, which they refer to as problematic cannabis use.

“In the United States, compared to 2002, even after adjusting for covariates, cannabis use decreased among youth during 2005-2014, and cannabis use disorder declined among youth cannabis users,” the authors concluded.

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