Survey Finds Increased Marijuana Use

(Columbus, Ohio) – The 2010 Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey, released Tuesday, Dec. 14 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, showed an increase in marijuana use among all grades measured in the survey (eighth, tenth and twelfth graders).

Research also revealed that more youth are smoking marijuana on a daily basis, with 6.1 percent of high school seniors, 3.3 percent of high school sophomores and 1.2 percent of eighth graders reporting daily use, compared to last year’s rates of 5.2 percent, 2.8 percent, and 1.0 percent, respectively. Among twelfth graders, marijuana use is at its highest point since the early 1980’s. In addition, the survey found that fewer tenth and twelfth graders perceive regular marijuana use as harmful, suggesting that marijuana use among youth may continue its upward trend in future years.

Another drug that showed an increase in use was Ecstasy, despite having been on a downward trend for the past several years. Equally concerning is that steady declines in cigarette smoking appear to have stalled in all three grades after several years of improvement on most measures.

“The 2010 Monitoring the Future survey findings are disturbing. Not only are more youth smoking marijuana, but more of them are now daily marijuana users,” said Patricia Harmon, Drug-Free Action Alliance executive director.

On a positive note, the survey showed that alcohol use (while still the number one drug of choice among youth) has continued to decline among high school seniors with past year use falling from 43.5 percent to 41.2 percent and alcohol binge-drinking declining from 25.2 percent to 23.2 percent.