According to a new survey, a record-breaking number of teens see marijuana as harmless, and one in 15 teens smoke marijuana nearly every day. Monitoring the Future, a survey sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, questioned over 45,000 students from nearly 400 schools. After four straight years of increasing marijuana use, the study found that marijuana use has stabilized among 10th and 12th graders and declined slightly among eighth graders. But regular use increased, along with the number of students who don’t see a problem with the drug use.
Overall in 2012, 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoked marijuana daily—an increase from 5.1 percent in 2007. Some 23 percent smoke marijuana regularly, and 36 percent had smoked marijuana in the last year. Nearly 4 in 5 students don’t see marijuana as harmful—an indication that marijuana use may continue to increase. Marijuana is especially harmful for teens, however; a recent study found that heavy teen marijuana use can cause an average IQ drop of 8 points.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the study’s worst news is the significant increase in the regular use of marijuana: “It’s not just the occasional use. You have a very high rate of daily use. That’s really a huge number.”
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