Washington, DC: The University of Michigan’s yearly Monitoring the Future survey reveals that youth use of cannabis and other substances has recently seen an unprecedented decline.
“The percentage of students who reported using marijuana (in all forms, including smoking and vaping) within the past year decreased significantly for eighth, 10th, and 12th grade students,” the study reports.
The findings indicate that, among eighth-graders and tenth-graders, cannabis use is down 38 percent, while use by 12th graders has seen a decline of 13 percent. Nora Volkow, Director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, which provides funds for the study, partially attributes the reduction in youth use to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have never seen such dramatic decreases in drug use among teens in just a one-year period,” says Volkow.
She went on to suggest that available data further illustrates that the legalization and retail sales of cannabis to adults have not contributed to increased use by young people, despite the concerns of opponents of legalization and echoing the findings of the US National Institutes of Health in recent months. The NIH report cites a stunning decline in cannabis use by youths aged 12 to 17.
If anything, these reports indicate that the federal legalization of cannabis and other illicit substances could potentially reduce youth use and lead to a situation similar to alcohol in the United States, as alcohol is generally harder for young people to access than many illegal drugs.
So, to quote a famous Reggae star, legalize it!
Vivian McPeak is a Seattle based social justice activist, media personality, and writer. Vivian is the president of Seattle Events, a Non-Profit Organization, producer of the Seattle HEMPFEST®, the world’s largest annual cannabis policy reform rally. The recipient of the High Times Magazine 2012 Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award and DOPE Magazine 2016 Emery Award for lifetime achievement, and in 2016 he was named one of the “50 Most Influential People” by Seattle Magazine. Vivian has appeared on numerous television and cable news networks, including FOX News, CNN, & NBC. McPeak is the host of Hempresent, a weekly radio podcast on Cannabis Radio with listeners on multiple continents.