6 facts you should know:
1. While 69 percent of teenagers think it’s risky to smoke cigarettes, only 34 percent think it’s risky to smoke marijuana.1
2. Some parents aren’t concerned about marijuana because they used it as a teenager. However, the marijuana today is 10 times stronger than the marijuana used a generation ago.2
3. Fourteen states have currently legalized medical marijuana.3 Many more states are currently considering legislation to legalize it.4
4. Forty-four percent of Americans today say that marijuana should be legalized.5 That compares with only 12 percent who felt that way in 1969.6
5. More and more teenagers are using synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice, because it’s legal for anyone to buy, and is sold as an “herbal incense” in a number of stores.7
6. Sixty-eight percent of teenage guys think using marijuana is okay.8
My Take on It:
When I asked my teenagers and their friends which drug was the least risky, many said marijuana. They said that marijuana isn’t addictive like smoking cigarettes, and that many states now say it’s okay to use marijuana if you’re sick. In fact, they seemed to think marijuana was as harmless as using an over-the-counter medication like aspirin or cough syrup. They talked about how they could find YouTube videos on how to smoke pot, how to grow it, and why it should be legalized.
To me, marijuana is still a gateway drug. I don’t think kids should be using it, just like kids shouldn’t be smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. It concerns me that many of our kids today are growing up thinking that marijuana is okay for those who want to use it.
Ask your child: “What do you think of teens using marijuana?”
- Learn about how to keep kids safe in High-Risk Behaviors
- Read the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s information on marijuana.
1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, The NSDUH Report: Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use among Adolescents, (Rockville, MD, 2009).
2. Joseph A. Califano, Jr., How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid (New York: Fireside, 2009), 65.
3. Ian Yarett, “How High Are You?” Newsweek, February 15, 2010.
4. William M. Welch and Donna Leinwand, “Slowly, Limits on Pot Are Fading,” USA Today, March 9, 2010.
7. Sarah Aarthun, “Synthetic Marijuana a Growing Trend among Teens, Authorities Say,” CNN.com, March 23, 2010.
8. SAMHSA, Ibid.