Student/Youth Usage Studies
"Marijuana use did not increase despite softening of perceived risks. Past month use of marijuana remained steady among 8th graders at 6.5 percent, 10th graders at 16.6 percent and 12th graders at 21.2 percent....Daily use of marijuana is up only slightly among 10th and 12th graders, compared to 2009....
"We expected a continued increase [of youth use for illicit drugs] into 2012 and later years, in part because of the ongoing trend toward increased use and in part because of the movement by some states to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Publicity around legalizing medical, and in some cases recreational, use may serve to normalize use of marijuana, the most widely used of all illicit substances. However, this anticipated rise has yet to pick up momentum, and in 2014 illicit drug use actually showed non-significant declines in all three grades for lifetime, annual, and 30-day use. (p. 11 at: http://monitoringthefuture.org//pubs/monographs/mtf-vol1_2014.pdf)
February 17, 2015 - Having failed to find evidence that Prop 215 increased teen MJ use in CA, researchers are now alleging an increase in youth marijuana use following adoption of CA's decriminalization bill in 2011. Unfortunately, the CA AG stopped conducting its biennial surveys of student drug use, so it's difficult to confirm these figures. Researchers are looking to update the data with 2014 figures.
Frequent marijuana use can have a significant negative effect on the brains of teenagers and young adults, including cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ, according to psychologists discussing public health implications of marijuana legalization at the American Psychological Association’s 122nd Annual Convention. Some research has shown that frequent use of high potency THC can increase risk of acute and future problems with depression, anxiety and psychosis.
July 12, 2013 - Medical marijuana laws have no effect on the likelihood a young person will smoke pot, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study supports "a growing body of literature" on the subject.
Jan 30, 2009 -- The newly released biennial Attorney General's Survey of Student Drug Use in California shows that marijuana use among 7th. 9th and 11th graders remained stable during 2007-8, but reports an "alarming rate" of prescription drug abuse. (The AG has ceased producing this report.)
Use of marijuana by California students has declined since passage of Proposition 215. Biennial surveys of student drug use released by the state Attorney General's office show that marijuana use peaked around 1996, the same year Prop. 215 was approved, and declined continually in subsequent years through 2004.
Sources of good information about youth and drugs:
From Chocolate to Morphine by Andrew Weil and Winifred Rosen
Safety First by Marsha Rosenbaum