National Survey Shows Teen Use Dropping, Possible Substitution for Alcohol in Adults

Sep 07, 2017 , , , , ,


The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that teen marijuana use rates decreased nationally in 2016. Past-month use rates among adults increased slightly, but alcohol use rates among all age groups decreased, indicating the possibility that adults are substituting marijuana for alcohol.

Past-month use rates for the 12-17 age group decreased by 0.5% from 2015 to 6.5% nationally in 2016. This is the lowest level of marijuana use in this age group since 2002. The data also shows a steady decrease since 2014, when the first states to make marijuana legal for adults began allowing regulated retail sales. The full report is available here.

“Critics of legalization worry about the message being sent to youth by marijuana policy reform efforts, but the real message is that marijuana should only be used by responsible adults, and it seems to be sinking in. Regulating marijuana for adults reinforces that message and creates effective mechanisms for making it more difficult for teens to obtain marijuana,” said Morgan Fox, senior communications manager for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and regulation gives adults the legal option to choose the safer substance.”


One response to “National Survey Shows Teen Use Dropping, Possible Substitution for Alcohol in Adults”

  1. Although decreased alcohol consumption may be good for our society, it might not be for the legalization movement. Producers of alcoholic beverages are more likely to lobby against legalization if they think legalization hurts their sales. The tobacco industry has nothing to fear! I smoke more tobacco after getting high. So do lots of other people! Tobacco producers don’t seem to realize that. That’s very weird!

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