Drug and alcohol use is falling for U.S. teens, according to the 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey. “Teen marijuana use has fallen slightly over the past five years, at a time when four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana and 23 others allow medical use,” notes the Washington Post.
The survey of 8th- , 10th- and 12th-graders has been conducted since 1975 by the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). For most illegal drugs, use is at or near record lows.
Teens are less likely to see marijuana use as harmful. Yet they’re not toking up.
“That’s what’s been surprising to me and other researchers,” Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of NIDA, told U.S. News. “We’ve now had five years of consistent declines in perceived harmfulness and the use rates have been reasonably steady – or dropping slightly this year.”
This year, 32 percent of 12th graders said regular marijuana use could be harmful, compared to 78.6 percent in 1991.