After a decade of decline, the number of American teens smoking marijuana is now skyrocketing. Past-month usage of marijuana grew from 19 percent in 2008 to 27 percent last year.
Even more alarming is the number of kids who are smoking pot on a regular basis. Check out this number: 1.5 million teens are smoking marijuana 20 or more times a month – a number that's doubled since 2008.
The findings on marijuana track closely with those in a recent University of Michigan study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health. That study also found marijuana use rising among teens the past few years, reversing a long decline in the previous decade.
This report also found another interesting tidbit: the mindset among parents is that "it's just a little weed." No biggie.
So, why are we seeing such an increase in the number of kids smoking pot? How do parents talk to their kids about it when it can be a very sensitive topic and you don't want to alienate your child? This research also shows parents are talking less to their kids about pills and pot and alcohol.
Another topic to address comes from the Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates legalization.
"If we remove marijuana from the criminal market and have the market run by responsible business people that have an incentive to check IDs and not sell to minors, then we might see those rates drop again," Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the group said.
Is that a solution? How has it worked with cigarettes or alcohol?
Would legalizing marijuana help control teen drug use?
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