Teens Smoking More Pot but Drinking Less

Annual study shows 4th straight increase in marijuana use
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2011 2:30 PM CST
Teens Smoking More Pot but Drinking Less
More teens are smoking pot regularly.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Pot smoking among teenagers is increasing while teen alcohol consumption has sunk to historic lows, according to a national survey. Of 47,000 American students surveyed, 36.4% of 12th-graders had used marijuana in the past year, up from 32% in 2007, as had 28.8% of 11th-graders and 12.5% of 8th-graders. One in 15 high school seniors smoked pot daily, and one in nine smoked "synthetic" pot at least once.

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Among 12th-graders, 40% said they drank alcohol in the past 30 days, representing an all-time low for the poll that began in the 1970s. "One thing we've learned over the years is that when young people come to see a drug as dangerous, they're less likely to use it," the study's lead investigator tells AP. "That helps to explain why marijuana right now is rising, because the proportion of kids who see it as dangerous has been declining." (Read more marijuana stories.)

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