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Monday, December 29, 2014

Marijuana Usage for High-Schoolers is Up Dramatically / Cigarette Smoking Declines (Part 2)

Regarding my previous post and the statistical chart, a friend advised, after reading same and reviewing the chart, that my interpretation of the chart reflects my bias.  He might be right.  I am not an advocate of legalized, recreational marijuana.  I do think that the current policy (in Oregon) to legalize marijuana is a mistake – and will be particularly detrimental to our young people.  That said, maybe, over time, we will learn to live with marijuana, and any associated abuses; just as we have with alcohol.  I hope so.  But, I still believe there will be considerable collateral damage in the meantime.

The chart:  Well, I understand that statistics can lie and that liars use statistics.  However, not capable of conducting my own in-depth research on the subject, I considered the source fairly reputable.

What I thought was particularly shocking was the reported statistic that approximately 20% of high schoolers have, pretty consistently since the year 2000, used marijuana ‘within the past 30 days.’  If true, I am totally out-of-touch with what is considered typical at an American high school.

My friend pointed-out the 1.5% drop in MJ usage 2013 to 2014 – and that it was a positive indicator – in his opinion.  Personally, I’m not so sure.  One year doesn’t necessarily indicate a trend.

So, how do we explain that smoking in high school is way, way down, and marijuana usage remains at one out of five students?  Has the campaign against smoking worked in a spectacular way?  Have cigarettes just become too darned expensive for the average high school student?  What’s going on?  Are there any high school teachers that can help me out on this?

Furthermore, what will the high school student usage of MJ be as more and more states legalize it?  I think usage will go up; but, I could be wrong – it wouldn’t be the first time.

True Nelson