Marijuana use among teens declined this year even as Colorado and Washington legalized the drug, says the annual University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, reports USA Today. The survey, in its 40th year, asks up to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade nationwide about their use of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs and cigarettes. “There is a lot of good news in this year’s results, bu the problems of teen substance use and abuse are still far from going away,” said principal investigator Lloyd Johnston.
After five years of increases, marijuana use in the past year by students in all three grades declined slightly, from 26 percent in 2013 to 24 percent in 2013. Students in the two lower grades reported that marijuana is less available than it once was. Among high school seniors, one in 17, or 5.8 percent, say they use marijuana almost daily this year, down from 6.5 percent in 2013. Synthetic marijuana, chemical concoctions meant to simulate a marijuana high and sold at convenience stores and gas stations, have also fallen out of favor. In 2011, when the survey first asked about the drugs, known as K2 and Spice, 11 percent of 12th graders said they had used the drugs in the past year. In 2014, that number had dropped to 6 percent.