Substance Abuse Education May Help Curb Recent Rise in Marijuana Use

by: Mike Miller

This is the third in a series of blog entries dedicated to the current use of drugs and alcohol by our nation’s youth.

In our last entry we entertained the notion that the anti-tobacco movement must be doing something right as more high school seniors use illicit drugs than smoke cigarettes. As reported in

This entry will examine one of America’s most pervasive drugs – marijuana. It sure seems to me that marijuana use is on the rise among our nation’s youth. In fact a recent study showed that almost as many high school seniors use marijuana (36.4%) as drink alcohol (41.7%). Does this figure alarm you? It should!

In 2008 about 32% of high school seniors admitted to using marijuana. This figure jumped about 1% per year through 2012. That figure is frightening.

However, what is truly scary is the percentage of high schoolers who see marijuana as wrong and dangerous. Over the years at least 25% thought marijuana was dangerous. In 2012 that figure dropped 5% to 20%.

What do you think is responsible for this? I blame medical marijuana for one. But much of the blame has to be shouldered by “adults” who vote these laws in. Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use! It is affecting the mindset of our youth.

Would increased drug classes and alcohol classes help curb teen use? I welcome your opinion.