A report on the Los Angeles Times revealed that after almost a decade of decline, the rates of pot smoking among teens is now on a rise, according to the results of a recent government survey.
The results of the annual “Monitoring the Future” survey conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse was released on Tuesday, and for the first time since 1981, there were more high school seniors who said that they had used marijuana in the last 30 days as opposed to those who had smoked cigarettes.
The recent statistics represented good news for those who are working hard to stop cigarette smoking among teenagers – but did not make federal officials that track illegal drug use too happy.
Gil Kerlikowske, drug czar for the Obama administration, placed the blame on state medical marijuana measures – such as California’s Proposition 19 – for leading youngsters to believe that pot is not that dangerous.
Kerlikowske declared during a news conference in Washington that it was “absolutely incorrect” to call marijuana “smoked medicine,” and that young people have derived the wrong message from the ongoing debate regarding medical marijuana.
The survey yielded further that 6.1 percent of 12th graders admitted to using marijuana daily, the highest since the early 80s. The number of 8th- and 10th- graders who admitted to smoking pot daily also increased to 1 and 3 percent, respectively.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said that the increase in pot smoking is “troubling” because frequent pot use is more damaging to learning and memory than occasional use, especially in teens.