Teen drug use falls — including marijuana

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.

When the team wins, male GPAs lose

When the University of Oregon football team wins, male students’ grades decline, conclude economists who tracked the Ducks’ last nine seasons.

“Our estimates suggest male grades fall significantly with the success of the football team,” the research team, led by Jason Lindo, writes in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. Furthermore, the economists find this effect is “larger among students from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds, and those of relatively low ability.”

Lindo and his colleagues . . . compared grade point averages to the winning percentage of the school’s football team, which ranged over the years from 45 to 92 percent.

“We find that the team’s success significantly reduces male grades relative to female grades,” they write. “This phenomenon is only present in fall quarters, which coincide with the football season.”

Why? Young men drink more and study less to celebrate football victories. Their female classmates also party, but not as hard, surveys indicate.

What’s true for the University of Oregon probably is true for other state universities, the researchers believe.

Oregon is playing in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2.

Failing students get college aid

Failing students lose federal college aid — but it takes a year or more. In California’s Central Valley, 25 percent of Pell Grant recipients fail to make “satisfactory academic progress.”

Also on Community College Spotlight: Low community college tuition  deters teen drinking, drug abuse and high-risk sex, according to a new study. Why? Teens who see college as affordable don’t want to risk the future, an economist speculates.