More U.S. teens are smoking pot and fewer see it as dangerous, according to an annual survey for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Survey results show one out of every 15 high school seniors reported smoking marijuana on a daily or near daily basis – the highest rate since 1981. The survey polled 47,000 teens.
“One thing we’ve learned over the years is that when young people come to see a drug as dangerous, they’re less likely to use it,” Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal investigator, told The Associated Press. “That helps to explain why marijuana right now is rising, because the proportion of kids who see it as dangerous has been declining.”
In addition, one of every nine students in their last year of school before college reported using synthetic marijuana within the previous 12 months. Synthetic marijuana contains organic leaves coated with chemicals that provide a marijuana-like high when smoked. It is sometimes sold in drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet as incense.
Many states have laws prohibiting the sale of synthetic marijuana, and the Drug Enforcement Administration issued an emergency order in March banning the sale five chemical used in herbal blends to make synthetic marijuana.
Survey results show alcohol use continued a trend of decline, hitting a historic low.