MAY 29, 2021 10:23 AM PDT

No Uptick in Students of High School Age Using Cannabis

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

It’s a startling statistic: In 2019, about 22 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported that illegal drugs were offered, sold, or given to them on school property during the previous 12 months, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

On the plus side this has not increased in ten years their report “Marijuana Use and Illegal Drug Availability”, updated May 2021 found.

And data on how enactment of state wise adult-use cannabis legalization laws affect has affected use of weed in minors is also encouraging — overall suggesting no nationwide changes in either the use of cannabis by young people or its availability, since legalization.

However, the figures do mask a small increase in female use of cannabis. The overall percentage of students who reported using marijuana at least once during the previous 30 days in 2019 was not measurably different from the percentage in 2009 at 21 percent. Similarly, there was no measurable difference in reported marijuana use between these years for male students (22 percent in 2019). But the percentage of female students who reported using marijuana at least 1 time during the previous 30 days was higher in 2019 than in 2009 (21 vs. 18 percent).

The report also found that white, Black, and Hispanic students all consumed cannabis at similar rates, but that self-reported use was higher among LBGT students and Native Americans. Asian student were the least likely to partake.

Commenting on the study’s findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “These findings make it clear that cannabis access can be legally regulated for adults in a manner that is safe, effective, and that does not inadvertently impact young people’s habits.”

The federal report is consistent with another recent study in the journal Substance Abuse that found where states had legalized recreational and/or medical marijuana there were no higher odds of adolescent marijuana or heavy marijuana use.

 

Sources: NCES, NORML

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
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