DEA: Marijuana use declining among adolescents
Marijuana use among middle school and high school students continues declining in the United States, according to the latest national assessment from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The DEA’s 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, released Tuesday, Dec. 6, shows that reported lifetime, annual and monthly pot use among adolescents largely decreased from 2014 to 2015, following trends from the previous year.
In 2015, 34.9 percent of 12th graders reported using marijuana within the past year, down from 35.1 percent in 2014 and 36.4 percent in 2013, according to annual Monitoring the Future Survey data.
Among U.S. 10th graders, 25.4 percent reported using marijuana at least once in 2015, down from 27.3 percent in 2014 and 29.8 percent in 2013.
Annual pot use among eighth graders came to 11.8 percent in 2015, which represents a slight increase from 11.7 percent in 2014, but was still lower than the 2013 rate of 12.7 percent.
Although adolescent usage rates are declining, overall approval of marijuana (and perceptions that the drug is not harmful) among middle school and high school students has increased.
According to the DEA report, 31.9 percent of 12th graders perceived marijuana as a harmful drug in 2015, down from 36.1 percent in 2014.
This might not come as a total surprise, given the changing political and social landscapes surrounding the drug.
Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images