October 14th, 2010
06:23 PM ET

Survey: More children using marijuana

More kids and teens are smoking marijuana at younger ages, according to data collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. From 2008 to 2009, there was a 9 percent increase - to 7.3 percent of people age 12 or older - who currently use marijuana. During the same time period, the average age of first-time marijuana users decreased to 17 years old.

The human brain is still developing throughout the teen years and in to a person's 20s That's why the Office of Drug Control Policy says using marijuana at the age of 12 can lead to addiction, respiratory illness, weakened motor skills, and cognitive impairment not only while the child smokes but for years after a person quits.

 Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Policy, says parents need to know why marijuana use early in a child's life can be dangerous.

"We recognize American families are facing many challenges today, but failing to adequately prevent young people from using drugs now can lead to a lifetime of devastating consequences," said Kerlikowske in a press release announcing the data.

Proponents of the legalization of marijuana have jumped on the survey's findings. The Marijuana Policy Project released a statement in response to Kerlikowske's comments, suggesting that the data demonstrate that legalizing the drug could curb the trend of more young people becoming marijuana users.

"Unlike alcohol and tobacco – which are sold by licensed, tax-paying vendors who are required to check customer ID – marijuana use continues to increase among young people largely because it is sold in an uncontrolled, unregulated criminal market by drug dealers who are perfectly happy to sell to minors," said Steve Fox, with the Marijuana Policy Project, in a statement.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy says parents concerned about whether their child is using marijuana should begin following three steps to insure their children stay drug-free. Kerlikowske said parents need to know the risk factors associated with marijuana use, be able to talk with their children about drug use, and regularly clean out their medicine cabinets so old, unused medicines are thrown away and not abused.

soundoff (359 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Invisible-the v stuck, I wasn't high, but I wish I was....

    October 15, 2010 at 02:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. malcolm kyle

    Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use, among all echelons of society, is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

    By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus the allure of this reliable and lucrative industry with it's enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

    There is therefore an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. Anybody 'halfway bright', and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. So put away your pipe, lock yourself away in a small room with some tinned soup and water, and try to crawl back into reality A.S.A.P.

    Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

    If you support the Kool-Aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, tortured corpses, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, economic tribulation, unemployment and the complete loss of the rule of law.

    "A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
    Abraham Lincoln

    The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!

    October 15, 2010 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. h4x354x0r

    Prohibition has the same net effect as rationing and price controls. Irrational policy creates irrational values for cannabis, and causes irrational action. Absolutely, yes, agree with malcom kyle: Prohibition is responsible for 95% of the problems – mostly violence and crime – that are blamed on the prohibited substances. Prohibition doesn't work. It never will. It only creates crime and violence.

    Who was that up there that posted a handful of stories about people supposedly dying from cannabis use? Does that person realize more people died in automobile accidents in the time it took to post that message? Yet, we control poor driving behavior, and almost all other 'undesirable' behavior, without virtually no violence, virtually no prison. Just... fines. We don't accuse cigarettes and alcohol (or a pharmacy full of OTC drugs) "gateway" drugs. Irrationality and hypocrisy reign supreme. The boldface lie of prohibition (of *some* drugs) being "necessary" is utterly ridiculous. It would be funny, if millions of people's lives hadn't effectively been ruined by the enforcement of prohibition.

    October 15, 2010 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Bobington

    This is why it needs to be legalized and regulated instead of allowed to run wild and control itself. IS this really hard to understand? Its harder and more expensive to get alcohol than weed because alcohol is legal and regulated.

    October 15, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ralph

    Ok they have it so wrong. I know so many extremely smart kids who use this. Marijuana is no worse then tobacco or alcohol. It is no worse then anti depressants, no worse than many other things. It relaxes people... it actually makes people focus. Makes them think. And while you can get mentally addicted on it- you can get mentally addicted to anything in life. Foods, TV, computers, Phones... And before you say it is a gateway drug... you are wrong. Most pot heads do not have a desire to get a higher high, especially as one matures. It becomes a thing to relax after a stressful day at work. So please stop making it sound so bad. And please stop limiting my freedoms... If i want to smoke- i cant. W/o breaking the law. Meaning if i ever need to get drug tested for work... i lose my job. Despite it being MY body.

    October 15, 2010 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. malcolm kyle

    Advocating a continued increase in mayhem & tyranny solely for the purpose of financial gain, like the prison guard's union, the DEA, or the alcohol industry, is both despicable and unconscionable.

    May I ask you all to please consider the following very carefully: It wasn't alcohol that caused the surge in crime and homicide during alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, it was the prohibition of alcohol. That's why many of us find it hard to believe that the same thing is not happening now. We clearly have a prohibition fueled violent crime problem. A huge number of these violent crimes are perpetrated by criminal syndicates and gangs who use the proceeds from the sales of illegal substances to further even more of their criminal activities.

    The second biggest business during prohibition in Detroit was liquor at $215 million a year and employing about 50,000 people. Authorities were not only helpless to stop it, many were part of the problem. During one raid the state police arrested Detroit Mayor John Smith, Michigan Congressman Robert Clancy and Sheriff Edward Stein.

    The Mexican cartels are ready to show, that when it comes to business, they also like to be nonpartisan. They will buy-out or threaten politicians of any party, make deals with whoever can benefit them, and kill those who are brave or foolish enough to get in their way.

    If you support prohibition you've helped create the prison-for-profit synergy with drug lords.

    If you support prohibition you've helped remove many important civil liberties from those citizens you falsely claim to represent.

    If you support prohibition you've helped put previously unknown and contaminated drugs on the streets.

    If you support prohibition you've helped to escalate Murder, Theft, Muggings and Burglaries.

    If you support prohibition you've helped escalate the number of people on welfare who can't find employment due to their felony status.

    If you support prohibition you've helped evolve local gangs into transnational enterprises with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, controlling vast swaths of territory with significant social and military resources at their disposal.

    Prohibition is nothing less than a grotesque dystopian nightmare. We have to regulate, and we have to do it now!

    October 15, 2010 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. malcolm kyle

    Partnership for a Drug Free America
    Sources of Funding from 1988-91
    Extracted from Federal Tax Returns

    (figures are approximate)

    Pharmaceutical Firms

    J. Seward Johnson, Sr. Charitable Trusts - $1.1 million
    Du Pont - 125,000
    Proctor and Gamble Fund - 120,000
    Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation - 115,000
    Johnson & Johnson - 100,000
    Merck Foundation - 85,000
    Hoffman-LaRoche - 75,000

    Tobacco and Liquor Firms
    Phillip Morris - 125,000
    Anheuser-Busch - 100,000
    RJ Reynolds - 100,000
    American Brands - 100,000

    October 15, 2010 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JEM

    Would anyone be happier if the 12 and under kids switched from pot to sniffing airplane glue or gasoline?

    October 15, 2010 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Frank

    Of course, more kids are using pot, because it's ILLEGAL. Ask any teenager what's easier to obtain, beer or pot? The answer will be as bright as the sun. Pot is UN-regulated and alcohol is regulated. Maybe if pot was controlled, taxed and LEGALIZED then maybe children would not have such easy access. In any regards, there is no doubt which is more harmful, results in more violent acts and does more damage to bodily organs.

    October 15, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. maddawg

    i tell my teenage boys....

    i'd MUCH rather have a police officer call me and tell me my child has been busted smoking pot than have the police tell me my child has been busted drinking....PERIOD!

    i'd rather they don't do either, even though i'm a loooooong time smoker; but ultimately it is up to them....all i can do is teach and show them the rights, wrongs and consequences.....it's their decision.

    how many people died last year from alcohol??? oh yea....that is a HUGE number....hundred's of thousands...!!!

    now, now many people died last year from smoking pot?? oh....no numbers even available due to the severe lack of occurances?

    now tell me again you anti-drug, anti-pot user..........how many drinks did you have at your last party and how many cigaretts do you smoke aday? WOW......and you have the nerve to ramble like a lemming agains pot???

    LOL.....i bet you believe in gods and their cults followers too.....hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    October 15, 2010 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ed dugan

    First, weed is easy to obtain anywhere. Second, its each persons choice as to whether or not they want to use it. Third, why doesn't everyone just mind their own business and leave it at that.

    October 15, 2010 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. maddawg


    i been a happy smoker of the MJ since 11 years old....31 years now....

    i'm well into 23+ years into my career, well into six figures doing highly technical data communcations engineering and management and have more very technical training, certifications and knowledge than anyone i know.

    oh yea....pot has been a real drag on my life......NOT!

    i'm just glad i hate the taste of alcohol....!!!!!

    October 15, 2010 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Frank

    ROFL @ 80's decade drug free. lmao @ "just say no". Does ANYONE read actual history or studies anymore? The 80's saw an explosion of the crack epidemic. (brought to you by the Iran/Contra affairs of the Reagans) You people must be smoking your own s88t.

    October 15, 2010 at 09:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. jaydog

    The War on Marijuana has be going on now for over 70 years. Presently the
    usage of marijuana is about the same as cigarettes among teenagers. Is that
    called success? Results are what matter. In the Netherlands, where it’s legal,
    they have a far lower use of marijuana among teenagers. They have a sensible
    approach that works. Is marijuana a grave danger to society? Every year there is
    several hundred-overdose deaths from alcohol. How many people died overdosing on
    marijuana? Zero. Alcohol is known to cause violent or aggressive behavior,
    marijuana does not. Some people think marijuana is the gateway drug to harder
    drugs. Why, because it’s easier for a kid to buy marijuana than alcohol or
    cigarettes? Don’t believe it? Do you think a drug dealer going to ask a kid for
    ID? What do you think would work best to reduce usage, changing people’s mindset
    to live a healthy lifestyle, or the threat of going to prison? The tax monies
    would be better spent on education and PR campaigns. We must ask why our
    government is intentionally ignoring the facts? Currently the only thing wasted
    is tax money. Just look at the results, far more people have smoked marijuana
    today, by percentage, than in 1937. Our country’s marijuana policy has been a
    failure from start to finish, and we've spent a lot of money going backwards.
    Also we lost all the tax monies by not taxing it. Talk about waste in
    government. Should the police and the courts continue to waste their resources
    on simple pot possession and use charges, while putting aside efforts on more
    serious crimes? The fact is prohibition gave rise to the power of organize
    crime. It is well known that Al Capone was a big supporter of the prohibition of
    alcohol. Why? There's a lot more profit to made in the untaxed market. There's
    so much profit that Capone bribed numerous politicians and law enforcement
    officials. When the prohibition of alcohol was lifted, the murder rate actually
    dropped. It brought the end of organized crime fighting for control of the
    alcohol market. That’s called success! The strategy right now is to ensure that
    marijuana is not taxed or sales regulated. Presently the drug cartels are
    controlling the production and sale of marijuana, not our government. There is a
    drug war happening south of the border that is undermining the Mexican
    government. Half the revenue of the drug cartels comes from the production and
    sale of marijuana. By legalizing marijuana would effectively remove 50 percent
    of the cartels monies. And any business, legal or illegal, which loses half
    their revenue, faces a great chance of complete collapse. Our government is
    running up deficits, spending billions yearly fighting marijuana, and losing
    billions by not taxing marijuana. There are some who think that the Government
    should have final say regarding your health, others think the Government should
    increase more spending to fight marijuana. We need to have this issue in the
    debates, and have the candidates state their stance regarding the current
    disastrous marijuana policy. Sadly many candidates chase the special interest
    monies, and lobbyists don’t always lobby for what is best for the country. Most
    people think marijuana as drug business, but actually it has far greater
    economic potentials. The hemp plant (marijuana) has many viable commercial and
    industrial uses (energy and materials). Did you know that our founding fathers
    George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp, and that the Declaration of
    Independence is written on hemp paper? And for the record, the last three
    Presidents of the United States of America have smoked marijuana at one time.
    Finally, how do I really know why marijuana should be legal? The Bible tells me
    so (Genesis 1:11-13, Genesis 1:29-31). Outlawing a plant that God created is
    truly Satan’s trickery to turn people against God (Psalm 119:81-88, Isaiah
    42:5-9). Everything that God created has a purpose (Ezekiel 47:12, Revelation
    22:1-5). God gave us the right of free will, even our founding fathers realized
    this when writing our Constitution. But slowly our government has been slowly
    eroding these God given rights (Luke 7:28-35, 2 Corinthians 11:1-33). Will our
    government outlaw the burning of incense in church because of public health
    concerns? It's now the time to end the prohibition of marijuana. Legalize it,
    Regulate it, Tax it.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Frank

    For the person who mentioned Marinol, please ask any Cancer patient if they can hold Marinol in their stomach for more than 30 minutes without puking. In addition you cannot titrate a pill.

    @Nancy, thank you. I googled a list of benefits and negatives of pot and the list of benefits is longer. Add another one to the list. "Cannibis has the unique ability to bind with canibanoid receptors in the brain which show promising for Alzheimer's and Parkinson patients". Go figure, pot for Alzheimer. lol You can't make that up.

    October 15, 2010 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. jtt

    hey don't worry,l the powers that be will release a murderer or rapist to put the pot smoking kids behind bars. come on man de-criminalize the stuff, and make it a fine. Or make alcohol and tobacco illegal, but you cannot have it both ways

    October 15, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rob

    Put it in the same category as martinis and cigarettes, but wait, you can OD on alcohol and develop physical addiction to nicotine. Other than a little smoke in the lungs (and no one smokes a pack of joints a day), what exactly is the health risks for pot? It should be legal, regulated, taxed, and controlled. Youth would still dabble in it as they do beer today, but the health risks would be less severe.

    October 15, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rob

    My comment was a reply to Jim B....

    October 15, 2010 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      @Jim – Sorry these don't seem to fall in order and may be misinterpreted. My other comment below a few commenters is the one that I was referring to..... Not this one.... I probably agree with you, just trying to add additional thoughts to your comments....

      October 15, 2010 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
  19. Sara

    It's funny how people against the legalization use propaganda to defend their stance instead of scientific facts. As a matter of fact this article is all the more reason why it SHOULD be legalized. Regulate like alcohol to make it hard for children to get their hands on and take the money away from the stupid Mexican cartels out! Our children should always be discouraged from using any drugs, regardless if legal or illegal, that is a no brainer.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Helen

      Marijuana use may have gone up, but it still doesn't compare with the number of teenagers using alcohol and cigarettes because they are legal and more readily available than any other drug, including Rx drugs. They are in people's homes, legally, they are in their friends' and relatives' homes, legally, all for the taking! Taxing and regulating pot won't make it less available than it is now. It will be more available. Ask any kid who has tapped an adult on the shoulder and asked them to buy them alcohol at the liquor store. They'll just start hanging out in front of where pot is sold, steal it from mom and dad or grandma and grandpa, or from their friends' houses like they do with alcohol, the most widely abused drug among teens. Marijuana will quickly become the most widely used drug because kids are being told it is "herbal, safe, and healthy." So all the arguments that legalizing it will make it LESS available are ridiculous.

      October 15, 2010 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
  20. J

    Want to know how to get kids to stop using it? STOP LYING TO THEM! Dare taught us that all drugs are equally bad- marijuana as well as heroin. Well, when I found out they were lying about marijuana I could assume that they were also lying about heroin. Now, I have been smoking for years and never touched a hard drug, but it is understandable why people would. When marijuana is illegal it is likely that my drug dealer may also have coke, or pills.. this is where the problem is. The the marijuana off the streets, regulate and tax it.

    October 15, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Christopher

    I am 53 years old and have been smoking "pot" since I was 19. I am a college grad, I hold an Associates, Bachelors and Masters degree. The problem is the war on drugs has attacked the dealers, the users, the users and the dealers, back to the users, back to the dealers and we even tried spraying pot with poision that just killed people. The war is and has been lost over 70 years ago when Marijuana was classified as a calss 1 drug – it's NOT and the reason it was classified as a class 1 drug was because the "border" farmers were ticked off because the people they hired south of the border would get high and not be very productive in the hot afternoons. However, the law enforcement community continues to spout the need for more money and more resources. I had a Professor in college who was a former Cheikf of Police for a major metropolitan city who stated in one of my classes, "As long as there's big money to be made on both sides of the drug equation – illegal trafficking and law enforcement getting money for a war they will not ever win, there will never be a change". My professor made that statement 25 years ago and he is and was right. There's too much BS propaganda on this subject as it pertains to pot. It is NOT a so-called gateway drug. If you really want to look at a "Gateway" drug, look at booze. Prohobition did not work in the 1920's and 1930's and it will not work now as it pertains to Pot.

    October 15, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Helen

      Prohibition DID work. It reduced the number of alcoholics in this country by half! Those who were already alcoholics could still get it, but there was a generation or two that was raised without alcohol, dropping the addiction rate in a huge way. Those who say prohibition didn't work are just spouting the "party line" fed them by those who want to legalize drugs. there is historical research out there to back up the success of prohibition in reducing alcoholism and other problems caused by alcohol use. Similarly, drug laws (what some call the Drug War) reduce the availability of drugs. Teenagers especially will use whatever is available. So it follows: less drugs available, less drugs used. We should be thanking our law enforcment officers for their dedication to keeping drugs out of our communities instead of working to make drugs more easy to get.

      October 15, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Helen, with all due respect, I don't believe that prohibition actually worked at improving life. And my grandmother was alcoholic in the middle of a city during prohibition so how is it that it helped her or the daughter she was raising, my mother? I know my view is anecdotal yet I don't see any data that indicates there were good or successful outcomes to prohibition. At best you could say it was successfully enforced for awhile, but was it a good thing for society? Did it benefit society? Did it make us healthier or safer? I've struggled with alcohol myself, but resolving the problems could only come from the inside. All the laws in the land wouldn't have solved my problems. In fact, prohibition would simply have enhanced my denial and allowed me to shift blame of my problems to the government instead of where it belonged: myself.

      October 15, 2010 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      btw, Helen, I do not drink and do not smoke pot. I don't even smoke cigarettes and have found a lot more happiness that way. No drugs either.

      My version of heaven is a guilt free carton of Ben and Jerry's, a good movie, a nice dinner out, or a chance to get out and have fun with friends. I even get to be the designated driver.

      My point being that pot is not the scourge you think and laws don't change people's behaviors as much as you would like.

      October 15, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
  22. Mark

    We clearly have a decision to make. Yes, it is illegal. Yes, it is a DRUG. But this is not a black and white issue. There are other substances out there that are legal, i.e alcohol and prescription meds, that are just as damaging, if not more so. The ludicrous notion that everyone will be high, committing hedonistic crimes with other forms outrageous behavior, is simply hyperbolic and untrue. Why wouldn't they be doing it now?

    Americans are angry because our economy is faltering and we dont PRODUCE much anymore. This is a golden opportunity to create jobs, generate tax revenue, cut down on our expenses on an overburdened local and state court/police/prison system, and most importantly, exercise our resources and morals to better ideas and bigger problems.

    October 15, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      Frankly, I like your sentiments. I would prefer that people would take their aggressive alcohol driven behaviors down a notch. I think marijuana could be that antidote. If people are going to rely on a drug, pot is a better choice than alcohol. Hands down.

      October 15, 2010 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
  23. Mark Greening

    So, whats the big deal. Just legalize it.

    October 15, 2010 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mr. Randy Watson

    lies lies lies yeah...lies lies lies yeah...bullshit...bullshit...bullshit...wake up and toke up America! it's the only way to free your mind and see what's really going on. plus it makes music, sex, tv, the outdoors, and the park better. it turns washing your car into a spiritual experience. it allow you to finally communicate with your domesticated wolf AKA your pet dog/cat. there are worse things in the air and water that are causing cancer, arthritis, heart disease, etc. this is all bullshit. it's all a lie.

    October 15, 2010 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Mr. Randy Watson

    actually, fuck it. just smoke pot. if you get arrested, go to jail and you'll be out after a few hours. when you get out of jail, smoke more pot. get high before a college lecture. get high after work. if you have a cool job, get high before work. who's going to stop you? there ain't nothing wrong with it.

    October 15, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Its a no-brainer

    You know what pisses me off?
    The fact that you peaple are arguing over a law(that made marijuana illegal) that was based on fear and propaganda put out by government officials who's campaings were being financed by William Hearst, who owned a tember company.He did this in order to keep hemp (a.k.a. marijuana) from taking over the tember industry.At this time peaple viewed hemp as being a natural resource, and saw Marijuana as a mysterouse drug that killed peaple. Due to propaganda the public viewed marijuana as being a dangourus drug that would cause hell, infact the first head of drug administration Harry J Anslinger said that "if you smoke a joint your likly to kill your brother".Hearst Newspapers headlines say "Marijuana causes nigro to step on white mans shadow" .A senator in texas said on the floor that "All mexicans are crazy and this stuff marijuana is whats making them crazy.
    So for all you peaple who want to belive that marijauana was made illegal because its badfor you ,well..your rong .

    Another reason i persionally think marijuana should be made legal is because the War on drugs has failed, and let me make you aware that there really is a war going on. Mexico, the U.S. supplyer of drugs is waging a war against the cartels that know run Mexico. 2,000 guns each DAY are moved to mexico from the u.s. along with billions of dollars in cash each week.
    And tons of marijuana is brought to the u.s..

    Making marijuana legal would also prevent young peaple from obtaining it. I know this for a fact because i am a junior in highschool and at this very moment could get the marijuana from at least a dozen peaple in the next hour.As far as alcohol , well....welll..well i geuse thats why i never drink alocohol,because i cant get it.

    October 15, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Aaron

    Quote from wikipedia.org.
    "The cost of enforcing Prohibition was high, and the lack of tax revenues on alcohol (some $500 million annually nationwide)[citation needed] affected government coffers.

    When repeal of Prohibition occurred in 1933, organized crime lost nearly all of its black market alcohol profits in most states (states still had the right to enforce their own laws concerning alcohol consumption) because of competition with low-priced alcohol sales at legal liquor stores.

    At the end of Prohibition, some supporters openly admitted its failure. A quote from a letter, written in 1932 by wealthy industrialist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., states:

    "When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before."[26]

    Some historians have commented that the alcohol industry accepted stronger regulation of alcohol in the decades after repeal, as a way to reduce the chance that Prohibition would return.[27]."

    The facts are there. We should LEARN from history.

    October 16, 2010 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Aaron

    Quote from wikipedia.org.
    "The cost of enforcing Prohibition was high, and the lack of tax revenues on alcohol (some $500 million annually nationwide)[citation needed] affected government coffers.

    When repeal of Prohibition occurred in 1933, organized crime lost nearly all of its black market alcohol profits in most states (states still had the right to enforce their own laws concerning alcohol consumption) because of competition with low-priced alcohol sales at legal liquor stores.

    At the end of Prohibition, some supporters openly admitted its failure. A quote from a letter, written in 1932 by wealthy industrialist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., states:

    "When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before."[26]

    Some historians have commented that the alcohol industry accepted stronger regulation of alcohol in the decades after repeal, as a way to reduce the chance that Prohibition would return.[27]."

    The facts are there. We should LEARN from history.

    October 16, 2010 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Constantine

    I bet the %s are much higher in california – Lol

    October 16, 2010 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Frank

    "That's why the Office of Drug Control Policy says using marijuana at the age of 12 can lead to addiction, respiratory illness, weakened motor skills, and cognitive impairment not only while the child smokes but for years after a person quits."

    I'd like to see what cloud they're pulling their facts from. They haven't been able to pin anything down on weed yet, as far as I know. In fact, they're only finding health benefits from it.

    They won't legalize it because there's no money to be made from it. Anyone can grow it. Of course the moral, or at least ethical, thing to do would be to legalize all drugs. There's far worse drugs that your doctor can throw at you, anyway.

    October 17, 2010 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Marcus

    Former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders just made a vid promoting marijuana.

    How I love that woman! I wish I could give her a big hug of thanks for weighing in at this time! 😀

    October 18, 2010 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Dr. Ryan Meldrum

    FYI – in 2002 it was 8.2% according to the NSDUH. So prevalence of use among thoseaged 12-17 is still lower than what it was at the beginning of the decade.

    October 18, 2010 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. EgadsNo

    it is the job of the drug czar to speak negatively about marijuana- so why bother listening to clearly biased opinion?

    Title VII Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998: H11225:

    Responsibilities. –The Director– [...]

    (12) shall ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form)

    October 21, 2010 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. sotospeaks

    Would you drug test your teen? It's obvious that drugs can't be kept out of our schools and neighborhoods. I'm a parent of two girls. I'm wondering, if you're a parent, would you home drug test your kids?

    October 21, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. alex

    seriously "impaired motor skills for years after" where is the citations on this, there is no research to prove a drug can continue to cause impairments years after use. This is a poorly researched article.

    October 24, 2010 at 05:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Felicia

    @- nick. Well that shows how much pot you've smoked because the research is correct. Pot can be "Laced" With other things such a cocaine. I know from personal experience, so until you have done your research don't misinform people so that they don't act to inform their kids of the dangers of smoking pot. The more danger of smoking it now then in the 70's is that pot is in fact laced with other things and given to more people.

    October 27, 2010 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Larry Wilson

      it can be laced with lots of different things. PCP, crack, meth. LSD....you can find a long list of them.....and cyanide too!

      September 16, 2014 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
  37. ME

    Wow. Are all you people high while writing these things? Why are you only worried about whether kids are smoking it or not? Who cares if kids are smoking pot? I don't care. All of your writings are irrational. Honestly, do none of you believe that marijuana is an addictive substance? That is false information. It may not be as addictive as nicotine, herion, cocaine, or opium, but it is still addictive physically and mentally. I know many people who are heavy pot smokers and none of them can function with out it. They can not fall asleep without it. They do not eat until after they smoke pot because they say they are not hungry. On top of all that, they are irritable and short tempered when they do not smoke pot for only one day. Pot is an addictive substance no matter what inaccurate information anyone may tell you. Which from the sound of it, you are getting from normal medical physicians, friends and possibly your pot dealers. Accurate information comes from someone in that field of study,(in this case would be psychiatry, psychology, and sociology) it is something that is published in professional peer reviewed journals.
    My next concern is, if pot is already easy to find and has minimal legal consequences, why go through the trouble to legalize it? It is not going to stop younger kids from smoking it because it will be just as accessible as it is now if not more. It will not decrease the amount of pot dealers because they will gain more profit if it gets legalized. It will not decrease drug related crimes because most drug related crime are committed for more expensive, harder to get drugs. It will not decrease in price because the main argument that California has to legalize pot is that it will raise tax revenues. California is a cash starved state and money is all they are interested in. The taxes on marijuana will be double that on cigarettes and alcohol. Most importantly, it will not survive in the market. Current pot dealers will adjust their prices to be lower than what is sold in the market in order to prevail. One last thing, there is no real fail-proof way to control the sale, and cost of the drug. How are they going to keep track of every buyer, every grower, and every sale in a free market society? It is impossible. Legalizing marijuana is a complete waste of time and money.
    Last but not least, the dangerous effect it could have on our economy. By legalizing pot, all of the health risks involved with the drug will cause a major rise in health care costs no matter what kind of idiotic plan President Obama has in mind. If by some small chance that marijuana gets legalized and fails to be overturned by the supreme court due to the Supremacy Clause, the Commerce Clause, and the Necessary and Proper Clause in the U.S. Constitution, it will not raise any money of cash starved states. Politicians who are for the legalization of marijuana fail to let the pubic see the underlying costs of legalizing marijuana. There will be more of a demand to drug treatment centers, crime could rise dramatically. State would be spending more money on drug treatment programs, and fighting drug related crimes. If you look at the few European countries where it is legal to smoke pot, their drug related crime rates are off the charts. There is no good utilitarian or deontological effects that can come from the legalization of marijuana.

    November 2, 2010 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
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  39. Larry Wilson

    Sure they should let anyone use pot that would like to use it. The big problem is when someone hits me in my car that is under the influence, who do I sue first. The States that made it legal to buy for recreational use? The seller that sold it to them or the user? I think all of the above. When Colorado allows the use of it and the person comes into my state...Arizona, where it's not legal and they hit my car and injury me. That would be that states fault....easily. They did not keep that person and that pot in Colorado. They make it legal then keep the users there. Everyone should be able to smoke it if they want. Just make them get a special permit and give up their drivers license then.....That's fair then.....you can't drive and buy pot.....fair to me!

    September 16, 2014 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
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