Federal study showing increased teen pot use rekindles legalization debate

December 19th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

PORTLAND, Maine — A federal study on teen drug use — showing increased marijuana use among eighth- and 10th-graders — is being used by Maine legalization advocates and their opponents alike to bolster their respective cases.

In November, Portland voters overwhelmingly approved an ordinance legalizing possession of small amounts of pot for nonmedical uses, making Maine’s largest city the first on the East Coast to legalize recreational marijuana.

Proponents of that measure, such as the Marijuana Policy Project, have been clear that they see Portland as a launchpad for a statewide legalization referendum in 2016.

On Wednesday, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released the results of its annual Monitoring the Future study of U.S. students, showing that use of cigarettes and alcohol by respondents in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades has decreased over the past year.

Conversely, “current” marijuana use — defined as use within the past 30 days — has risen in two of the three surveyed grade levels. According to the report, 7 percent of eighth-graders have used pot within the previous 30 days, compared with 6.5 percent last year. Among 10th-graders, the year-to-year jump was from 17 percent to 18 percent.

Only high school seniors were slightly less likely to have used marijuana than the previous year, with 22.7 percent saying they used pot within 30 days in 2013, compared with 22.9 percent in 2012.

But even the seniors showed an increase when looking at longer-term numbers, the organization Project SAM — Smart Approaches to Marijuana — pointed

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2013/12/19/politics/federal-study-showing-increased-pot-use-among-teens-rekindles-legalization-debate-in-maine/