Brace Yourself: Kids Know Where to Find Marijuana

Aug 14, 2008

alcohol, science, tobacco

No real surprises in the latest National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse, the annual National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse survey of teens' and parents' attitudes on drug use. But it does confirm what we've long known about the availability of illicit drugs for kids – including marijuana – compared to that of regulated drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

According to the report, half of the 16- and 17-year-olds surveyed said their peers use marijuana more than tobacco. More teens say it's easier to acquire marijuana than beer. And there's a 35% increase from last year in the number of teens who say they can buy marijuana within an hour and a 14% increase in the number of teens who say they can find it in a day.

Like I said – no big surprise; tobacco and alcohol have realistic controls placed on them. We enforce rules prohibiting sales to minors, and we talk honestly with our children about the dangers and responsible use of these substances by adults .

But marijuana is illegal. That means we must leave it up to drug dealers to determine what – if any – age limit ought to be placed on its sale, and we must lie to kids in order to justify the fallacy that marijuana is too dangerous to control or regulate.