Californians, please think. Our children can’t afford the explosive growth in marijuana use that comes with legitimizing and legalizing the powerful drug. We will not support the marijuana legalization proposition advocated by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and paid for by east coast billionaire Sean Parker.
The most comprehensive federal government drug use survey conducted in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) shows that Colorado now leads the country in past-month youth marijuana use, after legalizing marijuana in 2012. The state claims this dubious distinction after being in third place in the 2012-2013 report, and in fourth place in the 2011-2012 study.
“Now that Colorado has legalized and widely commercialized marijuana, their children use marijuana regularly more than children in any other state,” according to Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) a former White House drug adviser who grew up in California. Project SAM will work actively against the proposition in California next year.
“In Colorado especially, Big Marijuana has been allowed to run wild, and it appears that kids are paying the price more than in any other state in the country.”
Other states that have legalized marijuana finished in the top six: the District of Columbia (4th), Oregon (5th), and Washington state (6th). Vermont and Rhode Island are also in the mix.
Youth Pot Users Includes 6 Percent of 12th Graders who are Daily Users
“This year’s survey shows how, in an era of falling overall drug,
cigarette, and alcohol use — an achievement made possible by years of effort and millions of dollars of public funding — marijuana use among kids remains strong,” remarked Dr. Sabet.
“It may also be why daily marijuana use is at near-record levels.
And this doesn’t even include teens not going to school.” Moreover, this year’s survey may underestimate minors’ marijuana use. Of most concern is its exclusive focus on use of “marijuana/hashish.” The term is not well-defined given the explosion of novel marijuana products. The survey showed that kids in “medical marijuana” states use far more edible products than kids not in those states.
That narrow focus may also exclude highly concentrated products such as butane hash oil (BHO), waxes, and resins (“shatter”), which have also gained in popularity. It therefore remains unclear whether survey respondents identified use of all of the above products as
“marijuana/hashish” use. These products are very popular in California.
The survey also excludes high school dropouts, who are more likely to use marijuana than their peers. Teens who smoke pot daily are much more likely to drop out of high school and/or college.