Frequent use of marijuana by middle and high school aged kids in the U.S. in combination with a reduction in perceptions of its risks, were seen in a new survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan. The survey, completed nationwide earlier in the year was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The new survey reveals that 6.5 percent of 12th graders smoke marijuana everyday, a higher number than the 5.1 percent recorded five years ago. Close to 23 percent documented that they smoked marijuana in the month preceding the survey, and more than 36 percent say they smoked it within the last year.
Among 10th graders, 3.5 percent admitted to smoking marijuana daily, while 17 percent said they used it in the last month and 28 percent said they used it in the last year. Leaving 8th grade, use rises, with only 1.1 percent admitting to daily use and 6.5 percent saying they used in the last month. Over 11 percent of 8th graders reported using marijuana in the last year.
This survey, named the Monitoring the Future survey, also established that teens’ views of marijuana’s risks ‘have dropped, which implies there will be a rise in use. Just 41.7 percent of 8th graders view intermittent use of marijuana as risky, while 66.9 percent view regular use as risky.
Both of these rates are at their lowest since the survey started tracking these topics in 1991. As adolescents age, their view of harm fades. Just 20.6 percent of high school seniors see sporadic use as dangerous (the lowest since 1983) and 44.1 percent see regular use as dangerous, the lowest since 1979.