Thank you for subscribing
This information will be used to better customize your experience and help inform future tools and features on our website.
Despite reported declines in teen marijuana use, in 2007 almost 11 million teens report having used marijuana. For those using the drug, four alarming trends are of grave concern for parents and teens, according to Non-Medical Marijuana III: Rite of Passage or Russian Roulette?, a new report by CASAColumbia (CASA) at Columbia University.
From 1992 - 2006:
From 1995 - 2002:2
“The message for teens is clear—today’s pernicious pot is not your parent’s pot,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s Chairman and President and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. “The THC potency in marijuana seized in the 1970’s, when marijuana use was most prevalent, was less than 1%; today such potency levels have climbed to 8.8%. This increased potency parallels the increases we see in teen medical diagnoses, treatment admissions and emergencies. Parents and teachers, coaches and clergy, all who work with teens, must understand that marijuana is a risky and addictive drug with serious health and social consequences.”
Despite recent declines in teen marijuana use, compared to lows in 1992 the report found that in 2007 the proportion of teens who had used the drug was 27% higher among 8th graders, 45% higher among 10th graders and 28% higher among 12th graders.
Other Notable Findings
“The good news is that in recent years teen marijuana use has declined. The bad news is that 10.7 million teens still report that they have used marijuana. The worst news is that teens who use the drug are playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette with the bullets of addiction, accidents, crime and mental illness in the chamber,” noted Califano. “With all the evidence now available, simple prudence requires parents to prevent their children from using marijuana. Those parents who fail to do so are uninformed or irresponsible, or both.”
For this study, CASA conducted an independent analysis of data from the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (1991 – 2007), and the Treatment Episodes Data Set (1992 – 2006). CASA also looked at data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (1995 – 2002, 2004 and 2005), and Monitoring the Future (1992 – 2007) to determine trends in emergency department marijuana mentions (DAWN) and teen marijuana usage (MTF).
CASA is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA has issued 67 reports and white papers, published 1 book, conducted demonstration projects focused on children, families and schools at 213 sites in 84 cities and counties in 32 states plus Washington, D.C. and 2 Native American tribal reservations, and has been evaluating the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment in a variety of programs and drug courts. CASA is the creator of the nationwide initiative Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your ChildrenTM – the fourth Monday in September – the 22nd in 2008 – that promotes parental engagement as a simple and effective way to reduce children’s risk of smoking, drinking and using illegal drugs. In May of 2007, CASA Chairman Joseph A. Califano, Jr. called for a fundamental shift in the nation’s attitude about substance abuse and addiction with the publication of his book, HIGH SOCIETY: How Substance Abuse Ravages America and What to Do About It. For more information visit www.CASAColumbia.org.
*CASAColumbia at Columbia University is neither affiliated with, nor sponsored by, the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (also known as "CASA") or any of its member organizations with the name of "CASA."
1 Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
2 Consistent estimates of these trends are only available from 1995 – 2002.