Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Easy access to marijuana and alcohol

Okay, I am getting tired of the media spin about teen access to marijuana.  Here is what the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey tells us.

In 2010, when Washington 10th grade students were asked how easy it would be to get alcohol and how easy would it be to get marijuana,

  • 56% said it would be easy to get alcohol
  • 54% said it would be easy to get marijuana.

Now let's look at use rates:

  • 28% report using alcohol within the last 30 days
  • 20% report using marijuana within the last 30 days.

In other words, though Washington 10th graders say alcohol and marijuana are easy to get, they use legal and regulated alcohol at higher rates.  And that's what really matters -- how much kids are actually using.  The data is easily available at www.AskHYS.net.

I kept writing "Washington high school students" above because national data tells a different story.  Nationwide, teenagers find it easier to get legal and regulated alcohol and tobacco than illegal marijuana.

Another nationwide study shows that even when teenagers know of a peer who sells marijuana, they still use legal and regulated drugs at higher rates.  

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