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Report Finds High Marijuana Use Among Teens

A report issued last week by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that teen use of marijuana is on the rise. The report, "Monitoring the Future," found that teens are using marijuana at a rate higher than tobacco for the first time since 1981.

Public health officials are concerned because they say that frequent use of marijuana can damage learning and memory in teenagers' still-developing brains. Federal drug officials are also concerned at what they see as an increase in illegal drug use that they expect to continue.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, the report consisted of findings of a survey administered to junior high and high school students. The survey found that 21.4 percent of high school seniors reported using pot in the previous 30 days, and 6.1 percent said that they used pot every day. One percent of eighth graders and three percent of tenth graders reported using marijuana daily.

In general, the survey found that teenagers have more relaxed attitudes toward illegal drugs, such as prescription painkillers, nonmedical use of drugs for attention deficit disorder, and Ecstasy, than the previous generation. Officials say that the current generation of teens may not have received as strong of anti-drug messages as the previous generation. Public health campaigns against tobacco were more effective, with 19.2 percent of high school seniors reporting tobacco use in the last 30 days.  


Pot smoking makes a comeback among teenagers (Los Angeles Times)

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