H.S. Seniors Smoke Marijuana More Than Cigarettes
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H.S. Seniors Smoke Marijuana More Than Cigarettes
Posted by CN Staff on December 14, 2011 at 16:21:00 PT
By Mark Guarino, Staff Writer
Source: Christian Science Monitor
USA -- US teenagers are turning away from cigarettes and alcohol in favor of marijuana according to an annual study released Wednesday by the University of Michigan.The abuse of marijuana is at its highest level in 30 years, reports the “Monitoring the Future” survey, an authoritative snapshot of drug and alcohol use among US teenagers in grades 8, 10, and 12.
Nearly 23 percent of 12th graders polled said they used marijuana over the last month, compared with 18.7 percent who said they smoked cigarettes.Cigarette use is down among all three grades, dropping 60 percent during the last 15 years, according to the survey. Among 12th graders, 18.7 percent reported they smoked a cigarette during the past month, compared with 36.5 percent in 1997 – the most recent peak.Binge drinking is also at a historic low among the combined grades surveyed, down from 41 percent five years ago to 22 percent this year. Binge drinking is defined as four drinks in one sitting for women, five for men.But researchers speaking at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday said that teenagers are turning to alternate tobacco products, such as hookahs, small cigars, and smokeless tobacco. Marijuana and prescription-drug use is also on the rise.Findings among 12th graders show that 36.4 percent used marijuana in the past year while 6.6 percent used it daily, up from 31.5 and 5 percent, respectively, from five years ago.The reason why marijuana is becoming so popular is that “the perceived risk is down” which creates “the norms against its use to weaken,” says Lloyd Johnson, the survey’s principal investigator at the University of Michigan.And fewer "kids view smoking marijuana regularly as having a harmful affect,” says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.Corresponding to the rise in marijuana use is the increased use of synthetic marijuana, which is often sold in drug paraphernalia shops, gas stations, or online. The drugs, also known as "spice" or "K2," contain chemical compounds that produce a high similar to marijuana when smoked.This is the first survey that tracked synthetic marijuana; 11.4 percent of 12th graders reported abusing the drug during the past year. Mr. Johnson says that typical users of synthetic marijuana are abusing other drugs.“They’re quite a drug-experienced group that is probably looking around for a cheaper alternative to get a marijuana high,” he says.The US Drug Enforcement Administration issued an emergency order March 1 to ban the sale of five chemicals used in synthetic marijuana, and the US House passed a bill banning their sale in early December.Thirty-eight states also took action in banning the sale of the drugs, which he says illustrates a new trend in government getting ahead of the problem before it gets out of control, according to Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, “That’s what it takes,” Mr. Kerlikowske says.He also warned of lobbying efforts of behalf of companies linked to the sale of synthetic and medicinal marijuana as the presidential election season kicks off next year.The survey polled 46,773 students from 400 public and private schools across the US. The survey is in its 36th year and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health.Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)Author: Mark Guarino, Staff Writer Published: December 14, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Christian Science Publishing SocietyContact: letters csmonitor.comWebsite: URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on December 15, 2011 at 08:30:00 PT
What Gil, No Warning about Pharmaceutical Lobbys? 
"He [Mr. Kerlikowske] also warned of lobbying efforts of behalf of companies linked to the sale of synthetic and medicinal marijuana as the presidential election season kicks off next year."Cannabis, safer than tobacco, alcohol, synthetics & pharmaceuticals!
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Comment #4 posted by Oleg the Tumor on December 15, 2011 at 07:08:48 PT:
So why is the "perceived risk" down?
As the Christian Science Monitor's staff of Paul Reveres gallop to and fro, warning about all the "norms" weakening and "fewer kids view smoking marijuana regularly as having a harmful effect", one can only marvel at the intelligence of children!Haven't doctors been making these observations for years?
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on December 15, 2011 at 06:51:09 PT
Cannabis IS better for you...
than tobacco! No two ways about it! The kids are showing some common sense! Unlike tobacco, cannabis has been shown to slow the growth and spread of many types of cancers. However, I find the increasing use of the synthetics very troubling. The synthetics are often made in China, or other countries where quality control is optional. China can't even make powdered milk right, a perfectly legal product- it is not logical to think that any sort of care would be taken in the manufacture of a "gray market" product! These synthetics have been implicated in causing heart damage in teens, and have either caused, or made worse, certain mental problems. The number of adverse reports and studies at PubMed is growing rapidly.I strongly support the use of medical cannabis, but these synthetics are just BAD NEWS!And somewhat, off topic- If you aren't already, start taking Omega 3! It is not only "Heart Healthy", but it is needed for the health of your endocannabinoid system! You need Omega 3 to make functional CB 1 receptors (and likely CB2s and the GPRs also). Omega 3, in large doses, also helps clear cholesterol. It does not cause muscle pain like statins do! My hubby is on a prescription dose Omega 3 (4 grams a day) to lower his cholesterol, since he cannot tolerate statins. 
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Comment #2 posted by Paint with light on December 14, 2011 at 18:53:01 PT
I thought some of you might find this interesting.Under mental health disorders is listed:Cannabis dependence, like alcohol.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on December 14, 2011 at 16:26:05 PT
I am glad teenagers are getting the message
that marijuana is good for you!Roll on...
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