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Teen Marijuana Use Not Up Since Legalization, Another Federal Study Finds

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A new federally-funded survey finds that marijuana use by 8th, 10th and 12th graders has increased slightly over the course of the past year but is generally lower than levels seen prior to when states began legalizing cannabis in 2012.

While measures of lifetime, annual, monthly and daily consumption of cannabis across the grade levels have variously gone up and down over the years, the new national data indicate that legalization of marijuana in certain states has not led to the skyrocketing of youth use that opponents predicted would occur.

The findings, from the annual Monitoring the Future survey, represent the second federal report released in the past week to indicate that prohibitionists’ fears were overblown.

A separate studyĀ looking specifically at state-by-state numbers showed that teen marijuana use is generally lower now in places with legalization as compared to when the prohibition on adult cannabis consumption was still in place.

8th GradeĀ Marijuana Use By Year, In Percentages:

 

10th GradeĀ Marijuana Use By Year, In Percentages:

 

12th GradeĀ Marijuana Use By Year, In Percentages:

The data is part of the annual Monitoring the Future survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey is now in its 43rd year, and includes responses from 45,000 students in 380 public and private secondary schools across the U.S.

The new numbers are scheduled to be published on Thursday, but Marijuana Moment was able to obtain them early.

Marijuana Moment takes seriously its obligation to respect embargoes to which it has agreed. In this case, however, no such agreement was made. Rather, the data was found on a publicly available website and is thus fair game for publication.

The study also found that use of drugs other than marijuana is on the decline among 10th and 12th graders. Use of cigarettes, which are legally available to adults, is at historic lows across all grade levels surveyed.

Raw Data: Marijuana Use, By Grade And By Year, In Percentages

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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