New research from the University of Texas at Austin has found that since 2002, more and more young teenagers are reporting “strong disapproval” of weed smoking. Who are these people?
The study, which was published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health which gathered opinions and drug use habits of adolescents aged 12-25 from 2002 to 2013. The analysis found that teens of all ages were using marijuana less — use among younger adolescents dropped from 6 percent to 4.5 percent, as did use among older adolescents, which dropped from 26 percent to 22 percent.
The Dallas Morning News reports:
During the same period, disapproval decreased among adults ages 18-25. In 2002, 40.5 percent of survey participants strongly disapproved of marijuana use, and that dropped to 22.6 percent in 2013. Actual use among the group increased from 30 to 32 percent during that time...
Currently, 23 states allow marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, and 16 have decriminalized or lessened the penalties associated with possessing small amounts of the drug. Four states legalized marijuana outright, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
“Our results may suggest that recent changes in public policy, including the decriminalization, medicalization and legalization of marijuana in cities and states across the country, have not resulted in more use or greater approval of marijuana use among younger adolescents,” said lead researcher Christopher Salas-Wright in a statement.
Although the results point to a general national trend, they don’t take into account regional variations — so the researchers can’t tell if states where marijuana is legal experience the same shift in opinion.
Recent research has also found that teens are drinking, bullying, smoking and getting pregnant less often than before, implying that adolescence is super boring now but a little safer.
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