Federal Survey: Youth Marijuana Use Continues To Decline

no_marijuanaFewer young people today identify as current users of cannabis as compared to 2002, according to national survey data released today by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health report finds that 6.5 percent of respondents between the ages of 12 and 17 report having consumed cannabis within the past 30 days – a decrease of 21 percent since 2002 and the lowest percentage reported by the survey in 20 years. Adolescents’ use of alcohol and tobacco also declined significantly during this same period.

The findings are similar to those compiled by the University of Michigan which also reports long-term declines in young people’s marijuana use, which have fallen steadily nationwide since 1996.

The new SAMHSA data acknowledges an increase in the percentage of respondents ages 18 or older who report using cannabis, a trend that has similarly been identified in other national surveys. By contrast, rates of alcohol abuse have been steadily declining for over a decade among this same age group. Rates of problematic cannabis use by those over the age of 18 have largely held steady since 2002, and have fallen substantially among adolescents.

12 thoughts

  1. Surely this decline in youth use echoes the ongrowth of profit-predatory sneak “drug” testing, a kind of war-on-“drugs” ultimate weapon increasingly available to school bureaucrats and disciplinarians.

    1. PS: it sets off a piled-on series of lifetime punishments: suspensions and dismissals from schools with a “mark on your record”, barring acceptance to higher education/chance for diploma; family anger and disowning, “kicked out of the house”; difficulty finding a trustful employer, lifelong low pay jobs only, reduced chance of marriage and children, need we go on?

  2. Good; so can we stop traumatizing teens with pointless and invasive and degrading drug tests now? Can we put the kids first, for once? Payback is a bitch, once they figure out just how badly they’ve been abused. Do I really have to say, we shouldn’t be abusing them in the first place?

    Adults need to refuse to take drug tests, and turn down the money they would gain by submitting to the abuse. It’s not easy, in this economy built for the one percent, but it’s better than being a corporate housepet. Take your life back!

  3. From the Dep. of Health & Human Services? So does this mean they’ll stop taking state custody of innocent children whose parents self medicate after bedtime? Does this mean they will end state-sanctioned terrorism by forcing children to testify against their own parents?

    Oh yeah, back to writing my Congressman. Silly evidence…

  4. Drugs other than marijuana don’t stay in the system as long after use, and are not as detectable as long. That fact and the fact that marijuana is fairly benign yet illegal contribute to lulling novices to the illegal drug scene into believing that heroin, for example, also is not as bad as it’s made out to be. However, the difference is between frequently using marijuana and then stopping versus frequently using heroin, for example, then stopping–the intensity of the effects of cessation.

    I’ve heard many people say the use synthetic marijuana and other drugs so they don’t get popped on a piss test.

    The war on marijuana has always been about marginalizing people and forcing to the fringe of existence. Sadly, greed and racism continue to permeate the federal mentality in Congress, it seems.

  5. Hey Paul, while I have your attention, can you verify this patent claim on cannabis sativa for industrial hemp?


    I linked it on my hemp-Koch prohibition research on the Bonamici blog but even if you had written that blog I wouldnt expect everyone to find time to read all that I posted. But this claim is so wild its hard to believe it’s real much less ignore. Look at claim number 11: “The entirety of the plant cannabis sativa.” I thought a plant had to be genetically modified or engineered to be patented?

    [Paul Armentano responds: “I thought a plant had to be genetically modified or engineered to be patented?” I did not read the link but I can tell you that this statement here is accurate. I just attended e lecture on the subject plant patents yesterday.]

    1. Thanks Paul, thats what I thought. This patent appears to be covering all the systems of industrial hemp, up to the “entirety of the plant canabis sativa.” Talk about a slippery slope. Thats like patenting the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. “Yeah, uh, I wanna patent the cardiovascular system. That way I own everybody’s heart.” It’s just ridiculous.
      And the deceptive difference between genetically “modified” or “engineered” plants is palpable. Modified could just mean “cloned” or even “hybridized.” Thats like every plant in the marijuana industry. I call “Trainwreck!” Whattarwe gonna start patenting all the strains? Then looking at the invasive stuff Monsantos-Bayer is patenting in the “engineered” category is downright terrifying. Small farmers are forced to grow their patented soy and cotton or watch Monsantos drifting herbicides destroy their crops.
      I see a couple of big lawsuits against the US Patent Office. First a class action against Monsantos Bayer & the USPTO for damages sustained by patenting GMO drifting-herbicide resistant crops and the next suing the USPTO for patenting human-codependent organic systems like industrial hemp and GMOs to keep whole plants open source.
      We cant let them own our food. We are what we eat.

  6. That Hemp patent is scary. Any info on John Phillips? It’s such an average name I don’t see how he could be tracked down.

  7. Hi Paul.Great article.Some people combining multiple drugs because they get high on it. I’ve read an article about mixing Xanax with weed (Marijuana).They said that drowsiness,dizziness,confusion, and difficulty concentrating are side effects when Xanax mix with weed. Do you agree?

  8. I am not surprised that today’s youth are not that interested in marijuana. When I was a kid it was a really big deal to try marijuana because you weren’t supposed to. Now that it is legal for adults in much of the country that appeal is gone.

    So much for the prohibitionist theory that youth use would skyrocket… Not a single one of their arguments against legalizing marijuana has proven to be correct but some of them still cling to their backward ideology anyway; like the Sessions family for example (idiots).

  9. Yeah, think many nailed it … the forbidden fruit. It is all but legal, and it is way too powerful these days. In my teens I smoked and drank in moderation. Probably did as much drinking before I was 18 as I did from 18 to 40 … the appeal of drinking was gone and hangovers suck.

    All in all it is good that people can do what they want to do, what they are curious to do, and that they are more moderate in their curiosity. I want to hope that kids are getting smarter.

  10. i knew a friend how was addicted to marijuana. he said that he is depressed and have so many problems so that’ is why he use it. does it really help to reduce stress and can we use it as medicine

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