As states increasingly adopt laws allowing medical marijuana, fewer teens see occasional marijuana use as harmful, the largest national survey of youth drug use has found, reports USA Today. Nearly 80 percent of high school seniors don’t consider occasional marijuana use harmful — the highest rate since 1983 — and one in 15 smoke nearly every day, says the annual survey of eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders made public this week.
More than one in five high school seniors said they smoked marijuana in the month before the survey, and 36 percent smoked marijuana during the previous year, said the Monitoring the Future survey of 45,449 students from 395 public and private schools. After four straight years of increasing marijuana use among teens, annual use among 10th and 12th graders stabilized and use by eighth graders declined slightly since 2010. “Whether this is more than a pause in the ongoing increase that we have seen in teen marijuana use in recent years is unclear at this point,” principal investigator Lloyd Johnston said. Teens’ growing belief that marijuana is not harmful suggests that marijuana smoking will increase, he said.