Monitoring the Future 2010

Monitoring the Future 2010

Among the findings:

ONDCP reponse

“The increases in youth drug use reflected in the Monitoring the Future Study are disappointing. And mixed messages about drug legalization, particularly marijuana legalization, may be to blame. Such messages certainly don’t help parents who are trying to prevent young people from using drugs.”

Another take

“One reason teens have such easy access to drugs is because dealers are embedded in their social networks. It’s usually easier to ask a peer for a dime-bag than it is to ask an older sibling for a pack of smokes or a six-pack.”

The LA Times

“This year, 21.4% of high school seniors said they had used marijuana in the last 30 days, while 19.2% reported smoking cigarettes in the same time period, according to the annual “Monitoring the Future” survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It was the first time since 1981 that pot surpassed tobacco in that age group.”

PBS NEWS HOUR did a segment on the report

Addendum: Here is a comment from a friend which I found interesting.

“I also wonder if anyone else finds it ironic that the ONDCP took full credit for the previously declining rates of youth marijuana use (attributing it to their Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign) and now blames “drug legalization” for the rising rates. The ONDCP’s support of draconian measures against marijuana users has probably done more to fuel support of marijuana legalization than the rhetoric from legalization advocates has.”

I hadn’t thought about the trend toward liberalization of pot laws as backlash, but it makes sense. Maybe we can find some middle ground. In any case there is a lot of solid evidence that marijuana is bad for kids and the fact is that more kids are using it and that attitudes toward it are shifting. Is this really a result of “mixed messages” as the ONDCP claims? I would guess so.