California Teens Using Marijuana Less, Study Finds

California Healthy Kids Survey Shows California Teens Using Marijuana Less

A study funded by the state’s health and education departments has discovered that the amount of cannabis used by teens in California has declined.

The study’s report which is conducted every two years was released on Monday.

The authors of the survey noted that it was conducted before recreational marijuana sales became legal in the state.

Deputy Director of California NORML, Ellen Komp, stated that the legalization of recreational marijuana is a contributing factor in the decline in teen marijuana use.

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“These initial reports confirm that legalizing and regulating cannabis doesn’t increase youth marijuana use, but rather it has the opposite effect. The fact that the biggest drop in reported use came from younger age groups is a particularly encouraging indicator of the success of regulation.”

She added a rather poignant statement on the future of drug education.

“It’s time to stop trying to ‘send a message’ to young people about drugs and instead implement sound, science-based policies that best protect our children and public safety, along with our privacy and human rights.”

The researchers stated that the recent legalization of marijuana for adult use has caused the decline in teen marijuana use.

“How the recent legalization of marijuana use for adults in California affects the declining trend among youth warrants attention. The next biennial survey will be of particular interest to shed light on whether the change in state marijuana laws affects these findings,”
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The research showed that there was a 47 percent drop in the amount of 7th-grade students that used marijuana.  These results were observed when a 2013 to 2015 survey and the 2015 to 2017 survey were contrasted.

There was a 25 percent decline in the amount of 9th graders that reported using marijuana in the 2013 to 2015 survey.

The numbers dropped from 23.1 percent to 17.4 percent.

In the 2013 to 2015 survey, 37.9 percent of high school juniors (11th graders) stated they had used cannabis. However, this year’s result for 2015 to 2017 recorded a 16 percent decrease with 31.9 percent claiming cannabis use.

The percentage of California teens using marijuana in the 30 day period before the survey has also declined.

The total for 7th graders dropped from 5.0 percent to 2.3 percent. The 9th graders total decreased from 13.4 percent to 9.5 percent, and the 11th graders total dropped from 20.1 percent to 16.7 percent.

In a press release, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, stated that teachers have a duty to ensure that marijuana legalization does not increase marijuana use in teens.

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