Marijuana use holds steady among U.S. teens
December 19th, 2012
05:17 PM ET

Marijuana use holds steady among U.S. teens

Marijuana use is holding steady among eighth, 10th- and 12th-graders in the United States and tobacco smoking rates remain low.

Those are some of the results published in the annual Monitoring the Future study, a survey of more than 45,000 8th, 10th, and 12th graders from 395 public and private schools.  It was released Wednesday.

Each year, the survey gathers information from teens about their use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, as well as asking them questions regarding their attitudes about the drugs.

This year, 6.5% of 12th-graders said they smoke marijuana daily. That’s slightly down from 2011, when 6.6% said they smoked it daily.

Teens’ perception about the harmfulness of using marijuana was down, which may signal future increases in marijuana use, according to the study’s principal investigator, Lloyd Johnston.

Overall, 41.7% of eighth-graders perceive occasional marijuana use as harmful and 66.9% see regular use as harmful.  As teens get older, their perception of harm decreases, the survey showed, with only 20.6% of 12th-graders seeing regular use as harmful.

“Marijuana use that begins in adolescence increases the risk they will become addicted to the drug," says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement. "The risk of addiction goes from about 1 in 11 overall to about 1 in 6 for those who start using in their teens, and even higher among daily smokers.”

New this year were questions about “bath salts," products that contain designer drugs with stimulant effects. Very few students reported having used bath salts in the previous twelve months: 0.8%, 0.6%, and 1.3% for grades eight, 10, and 12, respectively.

The use of synthetic marijuana products remained stable, with 11.3% of 12th-graders reporting having used them. Other than alcohol and tobacco, this is the second most widely used drug among 10th- and 12th-graders after marijuana. The products are generally sold on the Internet or over the counter, with names such as K-2 and spice. They are produced by spraying herbs or plant materials with the chemical elements found in marijuana.

Use of other illicit drugs showed no significant change between 2011 and 2012. Those drugs include cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, amphetamines, sedatives, tranquilizers or narcotics taken without medical supervision. Only salvia, ecstacy and using heroin without a needle showed significant declines.

Adderall is one drug that showed some sign of increasing, but only among 12th graders, and not very significantly. Its use increased 1.1% from 2011 to 2012.

Alcohol use, which declined in 2011, showed an increase among 12th-graders. Twenty-four percent of high school seniors reported binge drinking two weeks prior to the survey, an increase of 2%.

“The nation’s teenage drug problems are far from disappearing,” concluded Johnston. He noted that new drugs are appearing on the horizon, products that include synthetic marijuana and “bath salts."

According to Johnson "synthetic drugs like these are particularly dangerous, because they have unknown, untested, and ever-changing ingredients that can be unusually powerful, leading to severe consequences. Users really don’t know what they are getting, and as the thousands of calls to the nations’s poison control centers relating to these drugs indicate, they may be in for a very unpleasant surprise.”

The Monitoring the Future survey was sponsored by NIDA and the University of Michigan, which designed and conducted the study.

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. J-Pap

    You don't get addicted to marijuana. I cannot believe anything else from a doctor that says marijuana is addictive. She's dead wrong.

    December 19, 2012 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wizzard

      While one won't be physically addicted, there is a psychological addiction component associated with early regular MJ use

      December 19, 2012 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
    • Ahem...

      Thank you, my dear wizzard.

      December 19, 2012 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      He's right. I've been smoking pot several times a week for the last 20 years and I've never really picked up the habit.

      December 19, 2012 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
    • Lulia

      This drug not" innocent" when you start smoke pod you will wanted more havy drugs it was happened with my son...but now alredy 6 years he is clean and he is in Ministry He tell me to tell you that!

      December 19, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      lmao shaun

      December 19, 2012 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
    • sonofgadfly

      @wizzard: There's another term for "psychological addiction". It's called "enjoying something". But I suppose "psychological addiction" sounds more professional and scary.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • greg

      don't tell me marijuana isn't addictive. I've taken away my son's vehicle because he's using dope and I told him he could have it back when he tests clean. He prefers dope over his freedom. Stop defending the drug pothead.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      There is no such thing as addiction to Marijuana. That is some kind of a myth perpetrated by the right wing.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • Spendlove

      Violent gun crime use is higher in teens and more harmful too...

      December 19, 2012 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • tom.BROkaw420

      addiction is a very HEAVY word it.

      weed is a good thing it is natural you smoke it things are good and you go to work the next day. and yes do it again the next and yes if you don't have it you don't have it and yes it does suck but whatever get up and go to work.

      NOW do crack all night you ant going to work the next day you end up f'd on a corner with a fist full of 20's and a sore ass and you just don't care cause you want more CRACK!!

      see what I mean?? HEAVY... word not the same thing drug to drug. sorry!! drug to PLANT.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:11 | Report abuse |
    • B.M.Smith

      As an experienced collegiate educator with a Ph.D. in Molecular and Integrative Physiology with an emphasis on Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology, I find it troubling that that the people behind this article are working for a news source such as CNN. The interpretation of the results of the study are dramatic at best, and no conclusive evidence is presented. Perhaps Ann Curley should review the definition of "peer review" and "impact factor" before spouting off on a trusted news source to reach people ranging from like-minded people to the casual reader. Ms. Curley, you should be absolutely ashamed of this article. Misinformation and interpretation for personal gain will be the downfall of our field of science and medicine. Your personal gain from this comes at a cost to all scientists, citizens, and future advocates of the same.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Ric

      I was addicted for 26 years..It was easier for me to quit cigarettes than it was to quite weed.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • cdaily

      wrong – it may not be pysicaly addictive like alcohol but it sure is mentally addictive, just the same as any drug...cover up your emotions and dont deal with life..escape...its a lame excuse of a drug and so many are fooled into thinking its harmless....it is a gateway drug for some..was for me...pot was THE hardest drug of all to quit....GLAD i quit.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Hojay

      Your right. I hate when people say that it will always lead to heavier things like coke and heroin. Maybe for a very small percentage but most people who say that it's a gateway drug are junkies who don't want to take responsibility for themselves and parents who are ashamed that they let their child do hard drugs and decided to make themselves look better by blaming it on a harmless plant.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • Hojay

      But I'm not saying you can't take marijuana too far. Obviously too much of anything is bad but marijuana isn't bad for you and if you aren't get stoned everyday shouldn't be a problem.

      December 19, 2012 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      All substances are psychologically addictive, but if there is anything this article teaches us, its that we should legalize marijuana. With legalized tobacco and alcohol, we have managed to lower teen usage. This is likely because of several factors, including that it is much more difficult for a teen to acquire tobacco or alcohol than it is for them to acquire marijuana (because drug dealers don't ID), it is likely because we can run ad after ad telling people to use substances responsibly (i.e. not just don't do it, because if you just run "don't do it" commercials, when someone does do it, they have no concept of responsible use), and it is likely because the market is dictated SOLELY by supply (i.e. unlike with tobacco and alcohol, we cannot slap vice taxes on the substance to keep people from using it). Legalization brings the substance under control.

      December 19, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • 13directors

      Yes, you can. You're just not an addict, but to your point, a pot addiction is not as bad as alcoholism. Your lungs sure take a beating, though.

      December 19, 2012 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • Joe Somebody

      You're a naïve fool if you don't think people get addicted to marijuana. Plenty of people get addicted to marijuana. I read some article about the number of marijuana users entering rehab in The Netherlands has steadily increased.

      And if people say they can quit, then why don't they? There's an obvious psychological addiction as wizzard mentioned. It's no different than someone smoking cigarettes saying they can quit any time or an alcoholic saying they can stop drinking any time or even a gambler who claims he can stop gambling. Denial is a big part of addiction.

      Oh yeah, and claiming you know more than a doctor is just plain stupid, unless you have some sort of medical degree, which i presume you don't from the comments you've made.. It just shows how naïve, foolish, and ignorant you are.

      December 19, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • Saxson

      I am a frequent user of pot and i have stopped using it time an time again for various reasons.. its about will power.. i have quit smoking cigs cold turkey no patch no nothing yes it was a pain for 3 days but after that it was easy.. i also quit smoking pot for those various reasons in the same way but it wasnt as bad as cigs. i keep smoking pot because i enjoy it.. not becuase i must and have too have it..

      December 19, 2012 at 23:45 | Report abuse |
    • Average thought

      Honestly saying people can get addicted is about as true as saying someone is addictive to world of warcraft. You do anything too often and it can and will become an addiction, but to just merly assume one will be addicted to it is just wrong. These comments are unbelievable anyone who has ever seen someone addicted to something knows that there is a common place symbol in all the cases "NEED". Not a single person who smokes pot will ever have the type of physical dependency that will make you go and pawn your mothers tv as say cocaine crack or even drinking. Im sorry if someone uses it because they are depressed and it makes them happy well fine let them. Not all of us have the money nor the time to take off work while we live paycheck to paycheck to go and see a doctor to talk for an hour while they take over half my check. Its natural and no more harmful than the prescription drugs teens OD on every year in high school. Nor does it amount to the kind of usage that prescribed drugs are at among teens. Im very angry with this piece you talked to 12th graders the most stressed out kids in school, futures are all uncertain and they all want to fit in and make the rite choices that will shine favorably in there families eyes. Im also tired of everyone thinking these kids dont matter or as if they are not adults by this point. In most European nations kids at that age are out of the house and most live on there own before 17. Admit America you set weed in the "bad drug column" because you wanted a reason to arrest blacks well times have change and now little jimmy and Katie are the local drug dealers on campus.

      December 20, 2012 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
    • Cristoffer

      Mariljuana is as bad for you as eating too many cheeseburgers. Lets just make it illegal to order 5+ cheeseburgers because SOME PEOPLE think its unhealthy. Yeah pot does effect our youth, but it also stimulates our youth to think beyond the norm of the older gerneration and set in place a new standard. Thats why we have death. Out with the old, and in with the new. As steve jobs said, Death is the best invention.

      December 20, 2012 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
    • john

      well i'd have smocked for many years now and I feel grate, never had a problim and I can quit or stop weenever I want....

      December 20, 2012 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      I smoke it constantly and of course it's addictive; it does lead to small changes in brain chemistry that, when it is withdrawn, leads to symptoms of withdrawal.

      But it's a moot point. Caffeine is MORE addictive, and more physiologically harmful. So is sugar.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:30 | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      Uh, Joe Somebody, you're not in a position to call people fools if you don't even know that an addiction by definition cannot be purely "psychological." For it to be addiction, it has to actually cause a physical withdrawal. That's what differentiates an addiction from a habit.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:32 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Lulia, sorry to hear about your son, but I disagree that it was weed that led him to harder drugs. I think in cases such as his he happened to be in a crowd that did drugs and took it further as they went along–I know many many people who smoke weed but them and their friends would never do anything 'harder'. I live in a place where it's legal, and it's a very common habit.

      December 20, 2012 at 02:08 | Report abuse |
    • john

      I saw 12 people in all my years ruined by marijuana.....guys who got obsessed about girls and spiraled into misery, another person who smashed a lamp to pieces when they found out they couldnt get high that night, another couple who had such relationship problems revolving around pot it got extremely violent, 2 people were pot dealers that broke down and cried wishing they could quit the habit, another guy who lost his wife kids and business from pot, another guy in canada whose wife divorced him for being unmotivated and smoking too much, another friend who went from 170 lbs to morbidly obese from pot....another friend who had to be sent to the emergency room for heart problems from pot, another UFC friend who freaked out at a party from smoking pot and had to leave after trashing half the place....another girl who believed she could punch out car windows after smoking weed and broke her hand. I have more !!

      December 20, 2012 at 02:10 | Report abuse |
    • theMan

      The propaganda is thick at CNN these days. i know we are all rooting for them to go out of business since what they report is complete BS.

      December 20, 2012 at 02:38 | Report abuse |
    • darryl

      lolololololol John. I'll say smoking pot isn't harmless, let alone good for you. I smoked daily for 2 years before getting addicted to opiates (clean 1.5 years) and pot does none of those things. It's physically addictive, the withdrawals are just barely noticeable though. The withdrawals are just increased agitation, that's it. If you're breaking lamps because you can't get stoned, you've got other problems going on. If you're breaking windows (or trying) because you're stoned, you've got mental problems or you're not only on pot. Alarmist much?

      If you even try to say that you're sure that it was the pot, I'll say you don't know your 'friends' as well as you think you do. Pot does one thing you mentioned, wrecks about a quarter of the people who use it's motivation.

      December 20, 2012 at 03:13 | Report abuse |
    • full throttle

      I smoked for about 14 years, 10 of them daily, quit cold turkey 2 years ago with no withdraw symptoms but maybe a little iratation. I did not feel like i was dying, i wasnt laying in bed covered in sweat or vomiting, like you see on the hard drugs. Marijuana should be recreation legal, it is so much better for you than alcohol and tobacco, which kill millions every year. and that John dude making all the dumb comments you should see what your mother can do when she is high haha

      December 20, 2012 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • Jared

      @Lulia, could it be that your son was just interested in illicit drugs and that MJ was the most accessible to him when he started? If it were not MJ that he started with would it be better if he had started with LSD, Herion, Cocain? I have been a MJ user off and on for 20+ years and have NEVER taken any other illicit drug...nor had any desire to. MJ makes me feel great. Did you know that sugar is ABSOLUTELY addictive and has horrible effects inside your body? Do you advocate outlawing it, and imprisoning those that choose to use it anyway?

      December 20, 2012 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
    • Sinnedangel

      Yeah...That's the point where I quit reading the article. I have yet to see a credible unbiased study linking marijuana use to being chemically/physically addictive or causing higher drug use. Before anyone starts freaking out about personal experience, I don't care. Lulia that was directed at you, just because your son decided he wants to try some other drugs does not mean that marijuana is the cause. Alcohol, tobacco, etc.. can cause these desires as well, along with just being plain irresponsible and wanting to try them.

      December 20, 2012 at 09:53 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Lulia, just because your son is an addict does not mean others are. I have smoked my entire life, 7 months ago I found out I am having a son and I quit. It was easy, I never once tried anything harder. I just enjoyed smoking.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Darryl, marijuana is not a physical addiction. People quitting marijuana have been studied and the only symptom is a change in sleeping habits for a week or two. I'm sorry you are an addict and cant do things in moderation. But don't group us all with you.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
  2. Mr. Marijuana


    December 19, 2012 at 19:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mel McDaniel

      Baby's got 'er blue jeans on.

      December 19, 2012 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
  3. @J-Pap

    It's psychologically addictive. Read a book,_twit.

    December 19, 2012 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • alperry

      what drugs are addictive?

      December 19, 2012 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • Mary


      December 19, 2012 at 20:28 | Report abuse |
    • allan

      Running is psychogically addictive. So is sex, reading and anything else that one might enjoy.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ric

      Mary..I smoked for 26 years and could not quit even when my doctor told me I had bronchitis. I finally quit because I was forced to as I moved to a place where I couldnt find it. I experienced withdrawal thru depression and coughing up pleghm for weeks..It is now out of mysystem and I feel awake and alive..As an artist I used the excuse that it helped my artwork, when it actually hindered it because I spent more time stoned and I actually produce more and more intense work now..I know from experience not from any doctors report.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      There's no such thing as "psychologically addictive." It's either physically addictive, or it's a habit. An addiction, by definition, has to have a component of physiological withdrawal.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:33 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Food is addictive. Look at all the obese people in world. People literally eat themselves to death....

      December 20, 2012 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
  4. alperry

    so every one is exactly the same?i didnt now that.

    December 19, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. buzz

    Keep weed from kids, legalize it so the adults will smoke it all.

    December 19, 2012 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. flea

    Every thing in the entire world can be psychologically addictive.....but when you throw "addiction" together with MJ, that is all that some people see and they believe it is a real addiction. Twits.

    December 19, 2012 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. dude

    psychologically addictive = not really addictive

    December 19, 2012 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. steve

    legalize all drugs then when the weak ones get adicted treat them rather then putting them in prison

    December 19, 2012 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spencer Shaw

      Or instead, we could move toward drug education and not make them legal. Pot, sure fine. Crack, Speed, PCP? No. You have no idea what those drugs can do to people, and making them legal is a huge mistake.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Winkie

      It is highly ignorant to refer to any group of people as weak ones. You make it sound like users are the strong ones when the reality is that many users are simply dulling some pain of their existence. Our society needs better coping skills, not more drugs.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Drug "education" in the past has been nothing but drug propaganda (like this article; comparing weed to bath salts – gimme a break!). The only information that's ever been unbiased is life experience.

      December 20, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Drug "education" in the past has been nothing but drug propaganda (like this article; comparing weed to bath salts – gimme a break!). The only information that's ever been unbiased is gained thru life experience.

      December 20, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      sorry 4 double post

      December 20, 2012 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  9. sonofgadfly

    I agree that those synthetic drugs are a menace. Of course, they only exist because the real thing is illegal.

    December 19, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. alperry

    well the truth is i did plenty of drugs and still do on occasion.the one thing ive learned is that drugs are for DOPES and that is the simple truth.addictive or not theres more to life then any of that stuff right down to cigs.it takes a real man/woman know the difference.

    December 19, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lol@Al

      You must be one of those dopes then Al. Guess you aren't a real man/woman since you still use occasionally.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • alperry

      absulutly im a dope.the single worst mistake i ever made was starting that road to nowhere.waste of money,time and brains.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
    • jack m off

      Do you drink, alperry? Get back to me on that.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:57 | Report abuse |
    • alperry

      yep ive been known to spill a few beer

      December 19, 2012 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Most honest answer I've ever seen

      December 20, 2012 at 03:48 | Report abuse |
  11. Cindy

    A paranoid generation. No wonder they don't know if they are coming or going. Maybe it is not addictive, but it sure makes them want to try something with more kick.

    December 19, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary

      Only if you get burned by someone selling you some low grade crap.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
    • jack m off

      Sure, well I have been smoking pot for nearly 40 years. I've tried other stuff and given it up. I do not need anything with more kick. In fact I have even given up drinking 100%. Alcohol makes everybody stupid. I don't like being stupid. I'll stick with marijuana.

      December 19, 2012 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • James

      Honestly, one is more likely to try things they might not under the influence of alcohol that marijuana.

      As for some of the other posts – other things that are psychologically addictive – cheetos, mcdonalds, television, etc.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ric

      I love the way everyone who smokes says, I smoked for years and I am not addicted...that's what makes you an addict and just because you choose pot over alcohol, you have just traded one addiction for another..I was there and thanks to my denial I now have chronic bronchitis and emphysema, I have walked away from good jobs because of drug testing and even refused to move to other states because I feared losing my dealer. I am finally drug free for the first time in my adult life..no more searching for roaches in the ashtray or running out to buy rolling paper before the stores close..Freedom...

      December 19, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • john

      yep me too, I smoked too....and I know that it has improved my creating stuff and my education. I feel more smarter then before and I can quit whenever. Just try it, you will like it....and then you will be smaarter and able to du more like me.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      Nonsense. HAve smoked it regularly for 25 years, have never had the urge for "more kick."

      There is no tie between marijuana consumption and trying stronger drugs. There is no causative link for how it behaves in the human body between it and strong narcotics. Total nonsense.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:35 | Report abuse |
    • Jman

      Ric, your issues are not typical and are based on your own weaknesses. As I said, I've been a gainfully employed professional for 25 years, write books in my spare time, have fronted a band that has charted ... all while smoke about an ounce a week. So don't assume your inability to handle your S**t extends to the rest of us.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:36 | Report abuse |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "I have walked away from good jobs because of drug testing and even refused to move to other states because I feared losing my dealer."

      and that's your dumba...$$ fault for not getting clean prior to taking job interviews. It really isnt that hard.

      December 20, 2012 at 09:55 | Report abuse |
  12. Winkie

    We are all different in our response to such substances. Anyone who has used can agree that different amounts affect different people differently, and not just because one is physically bigger than another. Just because a friend can used X amount of something and still be functional doesn't mean that everyone can. And just because one can use regularly and not seem to suffer any detrimental side effects doesn't mean that everyone can. Some people can smoke cigarettes heavily their whole life and never seem to have any problem; others can be in the same room as a smoker and wind up dying from cancer caused by second-hand smoke inhalation. If you're going to use, at least be aware of such differences. You might be just fine, or you might wind up selling your body on the street to acquire something you never imagined you would ever try in the first place. That's an outlier outcome, but it happens to people all the time. Don't become one of the victims of pot; it can definitely take you places you never had any intention of going. It depends a lot on parts of your makeup that you can't see until it's too late.

    December 19, 2012 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mary J. Wanna

    @ Cindy
    I call BS on your statement. I smoked MJ for years and never tried anything else. Quit repeating things you've heard and try doing some real research.

    December 19, 2012 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ric

      you smoked for years Mary?..my guess is you are addicted and refuse to believe it..try quitting..I bet you can't..guess what..that makes you an addict..I was there and was in denial like you...

      December 19, 2012 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Another shill spreading lies he's heard on the news. There are no addicting chemicals in marijuana, nothing addictive about it. I quit for well over a year with no side effects or even desire to go and get high somewhere. An addiction is a chemical reaction in your brain, something marijuana does not and can not provide. Keep spreading your evil lies all you like, karma will catch up with you.

      December 19, 2012 at 22:29 | Report abuse |
    • Mary J. Wanna

      Well Ric, I'm sorry that you are in denial. You obviously didn't read my post correctly. I said I "smoked" for years. As in past tense. Iput that away with the rest of my kid toys more than 30 years ago. I also read your post where you said you suffered withdrawals when forced to quit. I don't know how to respond to that other than to say your stuff must have been laced with something addictive. Personally I never lost a nights sleep.

      December 19, 2012 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Ric, I've smoked since I was in 8th grade. I am now 29, pretty darn successful and smoked a lot over the years. Seven months ago I found out I was having a kid. I quit, wasn't a big deal. Sleeping patterns changed at first but now everything is fine. Dreams are more vivid and I have no desire to smoke again. Really looking forward to seeing my son in 11 weeks and I have no desire to be around him high. I also have no problem with it being legalized. When my son is old enough I will tell him the truth about marijuana.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
  14. Mike D

    Do really believe a teenage survey? LOL...Not many of them tell the truth... i was a teen once myself....HAHAHA

    December 19, 2012 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Gary M&M

    Been smoking pot since 1977.....when i run out I sometimes go several weeks or months without buying it. Sounds like heavily addicted to me.....never took harder drugs....legalize it!!

    December 19, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ric

      I don't believe that you would go that long without it..I smoked for 26 years and if i didn't smoke for a week or two in that time frame I would claim I went for months without smoking..Its called denial..Try stopping completely..I bet you can't.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • Gary M&M

      Went for a year when I thought that i may be changing jobs in 2009.....no denial.... now use it for medicinal purposes and use a little amount before i go to sleep. Beats using a crap load of pain killers

      December 19, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • john

      Pot helps me sleep, and helps me eat....instead of running around an worrying about everyting I can just smoke now and again....whats the big deal. ITs totally not addicting !! Lots of doctors smoke all the time, and lots of lawyers do law all the time too...

      December 20, 2012 at 01:08 | Report abuse |
    • omg

      ric your a broken record your obviously have a addictive personality which is your weakness some of us Adults have thing thing called self control. don't blame weed for your obviously inferior brain chemistry, grow up and take responsibility for your actions instead of blaming it on a plant that cannot get u addicted too

      December 20, 2012 at 03:04 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Ric is an addict who cant do anything in moderation. Because of this he wants others to not be able to enjoy themselves. "Hey if i cant quit you cant". You are weak and have an addictive personality. Sorry bud, its most likely genetic.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
  16. tom.BROkaw420

    So a NATURAL PLANT, a FLOWER, is illegal? but synthetic, NOT made by NATURE is OK.....hum???
    ok.ok wait. my head hurts.

    if it is in its natural state... in an unaltered state... it is not a Controlled substance. it is a plant.

    my headhurts.

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    December 19, 2012 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. G.A. Alva

    I tried just about all kinds of drugs
    Cocaine: Missery, Scandless and in debt
    Alcohol: Violent, DUI and liver problems
    Marijuana: Happy, Hungry & a goodnight sleep (What seem to be the problem with pot)

    December 19, 2012 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. C. Sheen

    This year, 6.5% of 12th-graders said they smoke marijuana daily. The other 93.5% lied

    December 19, 2012 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • G.A. Alva

      I remember taking a survey in HS about drugs. They said it was anonymus, but it had a a handwritten # on the back page. I knew better than tell the truth. The bottom line most kids are looking to get wasted with what ever crosses thier path.

      December 19, 2012 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
  19. Darwin

    Legalize all drugs and offer no government sponsored addiction services. You start on the nasty stuff, you get yourself off of it or die. Too damn bad.

    December 19, 2012 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      you are including alcohol, right?

      December 20, 2012 at 09:58 | Report abuse |
  20. Homer10

    And you beliede this survey? I can imagion many enterprising Bart Simpson wantabes filling out a bunch of fake surveys highlighting all sorts of things that just aren't real. You know kids will be kids. So I take these surveys with a few grains of salt. However if you measured actual arrests, then you may have some valid numbers.

    December 19, 2012 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. abe lincoln smoked mary jane

    Alcohol is addictive... so let's see a show of hands for those who believe it should be illegal because of that. Pot was a threat to liquor industry profits. THAT is why it is illegal. Putting people in jail for smoking a benign herb is insane. Abe Lincoln smoked it, so it should be celebrated on his 'special' day.

    December 19, 2012 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Johnny5

    I smoke weed and dont care if i'm addicted.. I'm what you could call a fully functioning addict. I dont smoke at work, or before work. I'm responsible to my duties at my job and I take it very seriously. I love how it helps with my sleep I was prescribed a tranq. for sleeping but found the grogeyness was intolerable. (i'm bi-polar) my psychiatrist told me "some people can handle it great others cant" she said its obviously helping with my depression and anxiety and is NOT causing any issues with your mood disorder. I love the stuff. I only smoke .5 grams a day when I get home until I get ready for bed. I cant tell you how wonderful its been having it. This is not an endorcement just my experience with it, as for gateway? I was doing Coke in 8th grade. WAY before ever smoking MJ, I actually started with smoking cig's.... anyways thanks for listening.. John~

    December 19, 2012 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • john

      awww great im gonna start smoking pot too, i'm gonna go out and get some tonight and get really high so I can be a success just liek you !!!

      December 20, 2012 at 02:02 | Report abuse |
  23. francisbuxton

    "As teens get older, their perception of harm decreases, the survey showed, with only 20.6% of 12th-graders seeing regular use as harmful." I'm guessing that kids' belief in Santa Claus also decreases as they get older.

    December 19, 2012 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. francisbuxton

    How about the number of fatal overdoses from cannabis? I'm guessing that's also holding steady.

    December 19, 2012 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. CM46

    Although I only tried cannabis some 50 years ago, I have seen a lot of teens and 20 + year olds use it in the past 10 years. None of them seem to have become "addicted" to it. They seem to use it instead of alcohol – most only occasionally.
    The biggest problem is that it is illegal in some states. In California, possession of less than an ounce in only an infraction and the reality is law enforcement is more likely to look the other way unless you are under the influence driving. It would be better if it were legal and taxable.

    December 19, 2012 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jennifer

    There is no such thing as addiction to marijuana. It is HABIT FORMING, not ADDICTIVE. I've smoked daily for 15 years and go without when I travel out of the state. Sure I want to smoke, but if I can't, I can't. We need more education about marijuana in this country.

    December 19, 2012 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jman

      You're a little out of date. It was characterized as habit-forming for years, but there is actual physiological withdrawal from marijuana use, so it IS addictive, by definition. It's just a very mild addiction.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:43 | Report abuse |
  27. Jj

    Unfortunately for the intelligent, deliberate drug users out there, there are a million "Rics" out there per responsible human. Listen dude, pot isn't the issue, it's that you're a weak person. 26 years later and you're seriously blaming your problems on pot? There are 15 year olds that handle the drug more maturely than you. I don't care what your perception of the drug I intake is, but, it annoys me when you have a million soccer moms with literally no clue how to parent, (like the guy below whining about his son.) screaming about the dangers of a drug they know little of. Personal responsibility, folks. Try it out

    December 19, 2012 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jman

      Hear hear! I know elements of my pot use are bad for me; but I've also written nine novels in the last 15 months, and they're selling OK on Kindle, so ... I hate to tell you Ric, but he's right. You have emotional and mental health issues, perhaps, but blaming the drug with which you self-medicated isn't going to solve them.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:44 | Report abuse |
  28. amber

    Genuises i tell you!!! How much of our taxpayer money did it take for them to figure that one out!?!

    December 19, 2012 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. John Warner

    What % of teens are on ritalin, anti-depressents, and mood stabilizer DRUGS? Why such a hatred towards natural drugs and acceptance towards violence-promoting synthetic FDA approved ones?

    December 19, 2012 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. A

    Keep it up, teens! God bless 'em. A time-honored tradition, and the harrumphing from old geezers only fuels it. Blaze baby blaze 🙂

    December 19, 2012 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Gary White

    Pot is a lot safer than alcohol. I'm reading a lot of ignorant comments here. Anyone smart enough to jump off the ban wagon and do some research can clearly see pot has more benefits than "Carter" has "Little Liver Pills". What other plant has the ability to produce an oil with cancer curing properties ? Just check out "Run From The Cure" Do Some Reading...

    December 19, 2012 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • john

      yep and a knife stab is a lot safer than a gunshot wound....so go out and get your stabbin folks !!

      December 20, 2012 at 02:04 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      John, thats a straw man argument. Knives and guns have nothing to do with alcohol and marijuana.

      December 20, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse |
  32. Icurheinie

    "...harmfulness of using marijuana was down, which may signal future increases in marijuana use, according to the study’s principal investigator, Lloyd Johnston."

    Give it a rest Lloyd. If you ever partook, you would know that as far as "harmfulness" goes, it pales in comparison to alcohol. Even a 10 year old knows that. Put a lid on your prejudices.

    December 19, 2012 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Chris

    Very few eighth graders sit down and give this test any real validity. We simply filled in what, in our eighth grade minds, were the most ridiculous answers. Many test takers just answered all yes and all no, regardless of honesty. Bottom line: Forced, Anonymous Standardized testing of children leads to skewed polling data!

    December 19, 2012 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Shame RIC

    @ Ric

    Pretty obvious your experience ( If it isn't just a fabricated story ) is unique. MJ is not in the least bit addictive and you can't really suffer any withdrawal symptoms. I choose to vaporize and I go months between usage when I'm low. Don't try and pass off your "experience" as the written law of how things happen.

    December 19, 2012 at 23:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • john

      I saw 12 people in all my years ruined by marijuana.....guys who got obsessed about girls and spiraled into misery, another person who smashed a lamp to pieces when they found out they couldnt get high that night, another couple who had such relationship problems revolving around pot it got extremely violent, 2 people were pot dealers that broke down and cried wishing they could quit the habit, another guy who lost his wife kids and business from pot, another guy in canada whose wife divorced him for being unmotivated and smoking too much, another friend who went from 170 lbs to morbidly obese from pot....another friend who had to be sent to the emergency room for heart problems from pot, another UFC friend who freaked out at a party from smoking pot and had to leave after trashing half the place....another girl who believed she could punch out car windows after smoking weed and broke her hand. I have more !!

      December 20, 2012 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
    • NoctivA


      I could spew bullsh## too by saying oh over the past years I've seen pot help people with depression or helped people in stressful situations. If you want to talk about individuals, I've seen some one lose 150 pounds while smoking pot, or an alcoholic who started smoking and turned his life around, how about a friend who became a very successful musician by smoking.

      Seriously you're stories are stupid and you should feel stupid. So please, stfu.

      December 20, 2012 at 02:58 | Report abuse |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "I saw 12 people in all my years ruined by marijuana"

      And you see HUNDREDS DAILY who are ruined by alcohol.

      December 20, 2012 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  35. rigelkent

    Does no one here understand mental addiction? You can become mentally addicted to ANYTHING. Candy, shiny stones, sex. Really anything under the sun. Do I think young teens to smoke? No. I started when I was 18 I am now 24. Do I do it a lot? Not at all but I did. I stopped for a year I pretty much felt no need. It is not evil. Same with Alcohol its not an evil thing. I also live in Vermont. Pot smoking here is.. Liberal . Honestly its a every day thing. Ever person who lives here knows more then a couple smoker. Either those who smoke every day or rarely. Its not a huge thing. There are worst things to burn money on trying to make go away then pot.

    December 19, 2012 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Joe from Indy

    I always find these surveys to be funny. First, very few teens take any survey seriously. They tend to feel you are wasting their time. Second, most teens do not tend to admit they are doing things they feel they may get in trouble for. MJ smokers are more likely to be paranoid that someone is going to know if they admit to it, too. How can intelligent people believe these results mean anything at all?

    December 19, 2012 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. USA

    I'm a 80 yer ole pot smooker. Need too bee legal. Hold on eye losst my cheeetooos...............sorry they in me other hand. My DIET peepsi on table . . . . . . . . . . . . Stop moving table. Yum yum cheets n peepsi. I tink I ate da wole bag. . . . . . . . Make it legal so I don't loook tupid. That was fuunn 🙂

    December 20, 2012 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Robert

    Ive been smoking it for 30 years and there is times i go months without it. It was nothing like quitting cigs..now that was a nightmare and still is after three years. I don't care what you, this article, doctors, and etc say about marijuana because im still going to get my weed and smoke, vape, eat it, and etc. In some ways it has saved my life because i would rather smoke mj than drink alcohol.

    December 20, 2012 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. manhandler1

    Anyone that says marijuana is addictive needs to be completely ignored because they haven't got the slightest idea what they're talking about.

    December 20, 2012 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jman

      Man, where do you get this nonsense? I'm a HEAVY pot smoker, and have been for 30 years. But I know enough to read the side I don't agree with and there is UNANIMOUS medical agreement that marijuana is addictive. It's just very mild, similar to caffeine and other chemically based derivatives that cause minor discomfort for a few days. With marijuana it's sleeplessness and mild depression.

      None of that in any way legitimizes it being illegal. But to deny the reality that prolonged use changes the patterns of your brain chemistry is to deny the reality of the brain being neuroplastic and susceptible to small change based on repeated exosure to almost ANY chemical that affects the flow of things like endorphins and the distribution of seratonin.

      December 20, 2012 at 01:51 | Report abuse |
  40. JustTheFactsMam

    notice how they didn't put race in this "survey?" it's because white kids are the majority of drug addicts. If black kids were, this article would have reported it.

    December 20, 2012 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drew

      White people are also a majority of the general population, so the raw numbers of addicted people will be much higher. Minorities are arrested at a much higher rate than whites are for drug crimes, but I would venture to guess that the rate of drug use is roughly equal among all the races.

      December 20, 2012 at 05:15 | Report abuse |
  41. arrow004

    Kid gets caught drink booze no big deal kid gets caught with pot no student loans.

    December 20, 2012 at 01:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Heavily Armed

    Prohibition worked. Watch the movie "Once Upon A Time In America." Legalizing is going to damage our economy.

    December 20, 2012 at 03:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drew

      Hahaha best statement I've seen yet. I suppose purchasing drugs from a forign cartel, tax free, is more beneficial to our economy than a regulated market. The alcohol and pharmaceutical industries sure hurt the US economy as well, maybe we should ban those as well?

      December 20, 2012 at 05:11 | Report abuse |
  43. Heavily Armed

    Obama needs to get the feds to crack down on these people in California, Washington, Colorado, and Oregon who are profiting freely from the sale of marijuana.

    December 20, 2012 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Drew

      You are right, an individual politician should disregard the will of the voters who elevted him. So the president should have absolute authority to overturn a vote, in a democratic society? Or should we let congress completely avoid the issue to protect their own personal political career? I suppose something has to be done to deal with the rampant chaos overwhelming Denver and Seattle.

      December 20, 2012 at 05:08 | Report abuse |
  44. fiftyfive55

    Really,a scientific poll on teens about drug usage ? Are the powers that be so out of touch that they believe a teen when asked about drugs ? Teens of today are more aware of big brother than we ever were and they do not admit to anything .Oh,you can fool yourself into thinking you know your kids but once they pass that door,you only know what they want you to know.Trust me on this as I am a parent.

    December 20, 2012 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. humtake

    Saying mj is addictive is akin to saying tic tacs are addictive. People confuse addicting to habit forming. My mom started eating tic tacs a long time ago and now it is a habit and she ALWAYS has them and is always popping them. Addictions are chemical dependencies on a substance. A habit is something you like to do so you continue to do it. The question is, "Is the habit harmful". In the case of mj...no, it is not. That is evidenced by decades of habitual users who are productive members of our society. Make mj legal and you will get a big dose of reality on how many successful people smoke it. I've smoked it daily for 20 years now, give or take, and I am doing very well and my career just keeps moving up. I've gotten 2 major certs in my industry just recently (8 months of studying for one of them) and I just interviewed for a 6 figure job (didn't get it though :-(). The only way mj can be harmful is because of smoke inhalation. Yet, 2 separate independent studies have shown it is not harmful and actually can be beneficial. Personally, I don't believe it, I'm sure introducing foreign substances of any kind to your lungs is going to be bad in the long run...but that doesn't make the studies any more or less relevant. You can't agree with one study because it supports your viewpoint and disregard another because it goes against what you believe.

    The point is, it is not addicting. It is habit forming. And there are millions of people with the habit and they range from the down and out to the highly successful. If we are to start labeling all habit forming activities as harmful, we will be a very boring, unproductive society.

    December 20, 2012 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. religion; a way to control the weak minded

    Ric said "I don't believe that you would go that long without it..I smoked for 26 years and if i didn't smoke for a week or two in that time frame I would claim I went for months without smoking..Its called denial..Try stopping completely..I bet you can't."

    Thinking the world revolves around you and everyone has the same experiences as your is the epitome of ignorance.

    December 20, 2012 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 420reality

    There are lots of things "addictive". but to say that MJ is addictive because you use it is wrong. To say MJ use has caused problems is wrong. It's easy to blame a plant on your problems, it's never YOUR fault is it? It's always someone else's fault. If I pay my taxes and I contribute to society, what business is it of YOURS if I choose to use MJ. You don't have to "smoke" it for it to be effective, there are much healthier ways to take it. Teaching kids not to use MJ because it's "bad" for you is wrong. When they get smart they realize that is a lie. We need to teach them at a young age it's not the "right" decision to make to use it. If they choose to use it, they have that choice when they get older.

    December 20, 2012 at 09:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. JD

    Does anyone realize why THC stays in your system so long? It's because it is not toxic, like alcohol,cocaine,heroin etc, therefore the liver does not remove because it is not a threat to the system. Legalize it

    December 20, 2012 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Miguel

    preach ^

    December 20, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Sy2502

    But... but... marijuana is illegal... how can kids possibly get their hands on it if it's illegal?

    December 20, 2012 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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