Survey: Teens Say Marijuana Easy To Get

Survey: Teens Say Marijuana Easy To Get
Posted by CN Staff on August 20, 2002 at 10:39:49 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press
Few teenagers say they've tried marijuana, but teens say it's easier to buy than cigarettes or beer, according to a national survey. More than one-third of teens polled by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse said they could buy marijuana in just a few hours, 27 percent in an hour or less.For the first time since the study began in 1996, marijuana edged out cigarettes and beer as the easiest drug for teenagers to buy -- 34 percent said it's the easiest of the three, compared with 31 percent for cigarettes and 14 percent for beer.
Overall, however, 75 percent of students said they have not smoked marijuana.The annual survey of 1,000 teenagers was being released Tuesday. It did not specify whether drugs are easy or difficult to buy at school, but 63 percent of students said their schools are "drug-free," nearly double the number who said the same in 1998.Joel Willen, principal of Pershing Middle School in Houston, said teachers and administrators are seeing less drug activity."I think the kids are not bringing whatever it is they're doing, if they're doing it, to school," he said.The school's drug-prevention programs, such as DARE, are paired with a get-tough policy on drugs that includes twice-yearly, random locker and backpack searches by drug-sniffing dogs, Willen said. Students caught using or selling drugs can be sent to an alternative school or even expelled."They know we take a real hard line on drugs," he said.One in 12 students believes there's a teacher at their school who uses illegal drugs, according to the survey. A fourth of students said they've seen illegal drugs being sold at school, but a little more than half said they'd report someone they saw selling or using drugs, the highest level since 1996.Gerald Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said student drug use has been dropping for the past four or five years as communities began financing anti-drug programs."I think we're starting to see the fruition of some of those programs," he said.More than half of students said they don't drink alcohol in a typical week, and about as many said they have never had a drink.While one in four pupils said at least one parent smokes cigarettes, 69 percent said they have never smoked.The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, by the time they complete high school, 47 percent of teenagers have smoked marijuana, 24 percent have used another illicit drug and 81 percent have drunk alcohol. The agency also estimates that 70 percent have smoked cigarettes.The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, based at Columbia University, polls teenagers on drug use and the presence of drugs in schools. This year's random telephone survey of students age 12-17 was conducted December 27, 2001 to February 6, 2002, by QEV Analytics. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent age points.Source: Associated Press Published: August 20, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Associated Press Related Articles:Majority of Teens Say Their School is Drug-Free of DARE - Las Vegas Review-Journal To Keep Your Kids Off DARE Group Stats on Teen Drinking Disputed
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Comment #14 posted by Dan B on August 21, 2002 at 10:39:57 PT:
Vitamin T
I actually agree with all you have written in your last comment, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond. Actually, I fudged my answers to several questions, giving the benefit of the doubt to the Libertarian side of things when I was unsure of exactly what a question meant. Some of the absolutist statements boggled my mind (abolish government entirely? Absurd!). In actuality, we are probably a lot more on the same wavelength than our respective scores on the test reveal.Full personal rights and full personal responsibilities, yes--but corporations should be regulated. I resent the notion of eliminating the minimum wage, which is a Libertarian pipe dream. When it comes to potential to harm society, corporations have it all over individuals, as is evidenced by Monsanto, Bechtel, WalMart, Nike, etc. If we did away with the minimum wage, these corporations would dramatically shift their wages downward, and we would have mass poverty across this country like you wouldn't believe. And the idea that minimum wage laws create unemployment is absurd on its face when you consider the enormous and growing disparity between the average worker's pay and the pay CEOs and CFOs receive. And no, I don't think that these people deserve hundreds of millions of dollars simply because they have business degrees.When I say progressive, what I mean is that society should actually make progress, rather than stagnating in the cesspool of fascism that we are currently experiencing. Anything that smacks of totalitarianism against individuals should be eliminated, and we should base our policies on what is good not only for people in our country, but what is best for all of humanity. We should not allow American corporations to travel the world seeking weak spots where the people are easily exploited, then exploiting them. The reason why so many people around the world hate America is that our government encourages this kind of exploitation.When I say that I am too progressive for many Libertarians, what I mean is that I lean heavily toward socialism. I believe that the haves should share with the have nots, and that if the haves refuse to share, they should be penalized with higher taxes and forced to share. I believe that one person is not better than another simply because one makes more money than another, and I resent companies like Wal Mart that exploit people in third world countries by paying them pennies an hour, then sell these products--often poorly made by the poorest of the poor--to the poorest of the poor here in America. Yes, I know that some here at Cannabis News would entirely disagree with me (under the belief--I believe misguided--that any hint of socialism is a reincarnation of the USSR). I respect your right to disagree. The fact is that the free market is not "self-correcting," as many believe, nor is it in any way free, save for the lack of regulations placed on those who most need to be regulated. The "free market" is just another way to enslave the people. I would rather have the people be free and the corporations feel enslaved than the other way around.How would I create a balance? I would make free trade mean exactly that, and no more. We could freely trade products with other countries without imposing tariffs, provided that those countries have not done some enormous wrong to us, like bomb us or fly airplanes into our buildings. Those countries that have wronged us would either not be allowed to trade with us or would be required to pay high tariffs. Tariffs could also be imposed like trade sanctions on those countries that commit human rights violations. But free trade would not mean that corporations can move their jobs outside the country. Products can be traded; people cannot. Many don't realize that after NAFTA was implemented, many thousands of jobs left the United States for Mexico, and the minimum wage in Mexico actually went down 25%, creating a larger poverty-stricken working class than existed before NAFTA. So, transporting jobs outside the country is not only a disservice to the United States, but also a disservice to other countries.I could go on for many pages, and perhaps I should write a book, then seek public office. At any rate, I fear that I have already overstayed my welcome on this subject, so I won't detail the rest of my ideas (which are many). Suffice to say that I'm about as liberal as they come, so I agree with Libertarian social policies, but I think their economic policies leave a lot to be desired. Dan B
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Comment #13 posted by VitaminT on August 20, 2002 at 15:47:49 PT
I don't think it's odd at all
the point is, nobody is really all one thing, I actually consider myself conservative on some issues, and practically Marxist on others. I am, in some ways, Libertarian mainly because I don't want any government or other institution telling me what to think, how to live, what to eat, smoke, shoot, swallow, wear etc. etc. In short, Full Rights AND Full Responsibilities. Other political philosophies pay lip service to these concepts but that's all. Example: A few nights ago Bob Barr said on C-SPAN that he believes in smaller government and trusting Americans to exercise personal responsibility - he's the biggest Drug Warrior there is!?! That's what I mean about Lip service!Political Philosophy is all about shades of gray, few people fit neatly into the box - I know I don't!I scored 51 BTW so I'm guessing I'm more leftist than DanB but that's ok there's room for everyone!
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Comment #12 posted by Industrial Strength on August 20, 2002 at 15:34:14 PT
Out of curiosity, how would you define "progressive"?I think individuals should have the right to do what they please as long as they don't hurt anyone but I think the state should be responsible for funding and regulating things. I know it's a paradox, but a workable one. My views on various issues zig zag back and forth.
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Comment #11 posted by Dan B on August 20, 2002 at 15:22:31 PT:
About Vitamin T's test
I scored a 79, which is "medium-core libertarian." But that really means nothing to me. How can I disagree with half of what libertarians agree with, yet still be considered a libertarian? On the other test, I was on the border between libertarian and left-liberal. Here again, it seems odd to me that I could be both libertarian and liberal at the same time. In other words, it seems that Libertarians are, indeed, trying to cast as wide a net as possible. The problem with such an approach is that you end up with no clear definition of what, exactly, a "Libertarian" is. My approach is to vote Libertarian and Green, depending on the individual candidates, and with the occasional exception for good people in the major parties (for example, I would vote for Paul Wellstone (D) in Minnesota, but I would also vote for Ron Paul (R) in Texas, if I were allowed to vote in both states, which I am not, nor have I ever tried). I figure that the two approaches would balance one another (Lib and Green, that is). At heart, I would consider my political leanings "Progressive," which is actually far more liberal than many Libertarians can stomach.Dan B
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Comment #10 posted by darwin on August 20, 2002 at 14:10:02 PT
I got left leaning liberal too. Although I think that test is just a tad biased, seeing as it is a promotional site for the libertarians.
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Comment #9 posted by Industrial Strength on August 20, 2002 at 13:05:10 PT
Vitamin T
I can't get the first link to work. I took the second test and scored "left liberal".
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Comment #8 posted by Prime on August 20, 2002 at 12:49:12 PT
Surveys of illegal activity...
If I was a kid, and I was using smoking pot, I would do every thing I could to distort the results of a survey like this.These people have ZERO (0), zip, nada, facts about the use of illegal substances by teens. Same goes for the Home Surveys done by the government. Sure, over here is the DARE cop, the principle, your teachers... "are you using Johnny?""Uhhh... yes I am, sir. Please proceed in flushing my life down the toilet."They will never get the truth, but that doesnt really matter much to them it seems.On a side note, I snuck into the class portrait for the National Honor Society when I was a senior in HS. For some reason, after showing up for the photo, they starting inviting me to all the meetings. I even got the yellow scarf to wear around my neck on graduation day. If life is a game, I got serious points for that stunt. 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 20, 2002 at 12:45:18 PT
News Article from The AP About Party Schools
IU Tops in PartyingPosted on Tue, Aug. 20, 2002  
 School questions credibility, responsibility of survey.BLOOMINGTON (AP) - Indiana University was crowned the nation's No. 1 "party school" Monday in an annual Princeton Review survey that school leaders and medical experts derided as irresponsible and unscientific.
Following IU in the rankings were Clemson University, the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Florida.IU officials questioned the No. 1 ranking because the school, which didn't appear on the list last year, has toughened its stance on student drinking since the 1998 alcohol-related death of a student.
 Complete Article:
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Comment #6 posted by Nicholas Thimmesch on August 20, 2002 at 12:40:44 PT:
When I was a teenager..... was easier/cheaper ( $3.00 a hit) to get LSD than pot, beer, wine or cigarettes (which we could not afford). The hardest thing to get were Hendrix tickets ( $15 each, they were expensive!) for the Baltimore Civic Center show in 1969. Now THAT was hard to get!
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Comment #5 posted by VitaminT on August 20, 2002 at 12:40:34 PT
Industrial Strength - Here's that test
A few days ago I posted this on another story, please check it out!Here are links to a couple of Tests that assess your political views relative to Libertarian thought. Each can be taken with a grain of salt but you may find the results surprising. I did, enjoy!The first is more thorough and takes about 5 or 10 minutes. Results are given as a numerical score at the end with a brief explaination. (My score: 51) second will appeal to your desire for instant gratification, and at the end graphically displays your position in the overall political scheme of things. (My score Left-leaning Libertarian)
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Comment #4 posted by Industrial Strength on August 20, 2002 at 12:32:01 PT
Drug Free Schools
Yea, right. Good luck with that. Why not ask for an injury free NFL season while your at it.
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Comment #3 posted by Windminstrel on August 20, 2002 at 12:22:14 PT
Youth is wasted on the young
May be easy for the kids to get it, but it's pretty tough for introverted computer geeks to find!
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 20, 2002 at 12:11:20 PT
Thanks Nicholas
I'll keep my eyes open and hope they do the article.
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Comment #1 posted by Nicholas Thimmesch on August 20, 2002 at 11:51:46 PT:
NORML responds to AP report on CASA survey
Regulation Of Marijuana Would Likely Result In Reduced Teen Use, Columbia University Survey Says
NORML Executive Director Charges That Prohibition Fails 
To Keep Marijuana Out Of The Hands Of KidsWASHINGTON, DC -- Teens report they have easier access to marijuana than they have to either alcohol or tobacco, according to a national survey released today by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. The results marked the first time in the survey’s history that adolescents said it was easier to buy pot than cigarettes or alcohol.Keith Stroup, Executive Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said the survey results speak directly to the failure of pot prohibition, and point to the need for the establishment of a regulated, non-criminal marijuana market.“Despite spending billions of dollars and arresting 734,000 Americans annually to enforce marijuana laws, prohibition is failing to achieve its most fundamental and important goal: to keep marijuana out of the hands of kids,” Stroup said.“The fact that teens say that marijuana is easier to attain than either alcohol or tobacco – two legal, regulated products – emphasizes the importance of developing a controlled market for marijuana – complete with age restrictions and serious penalties for anyone found distributing marijuana to those under 21.” Stroup noted that Nevadans have an opportunity to vote for an initiative (Question 9) this November that would both eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the personal use of marijuana by adults and establish a regulated market for cannabis in that state.“Unlike our current marijuana policies, the provisions set forth in Question 9 will free up police resources to deal with more serious and violent crime, and reduce the availability of marijuana to children under 21 years of age. According to the results of today’s CASA survey, passage of such a policy is long overdue.”Thirty-four percent of teens said that marijuana is easier to attain than alcohol or tobacco, and more than one-third polled said they could purchase pot in just a few hours. By comparison, 31 percent of adolescents reported that they could buy cigarettes most readily, and only 14 percent said they could most easily purchase beer.For further information: or e-mail: normlmedia earthlink.netNORML has forwarded this news release to AP's Toppo, so watch for possible update by AP.
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