According to the latest results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), past-year use of marijuana among 12-17 year-olds significantly increased in a handful of states where recreational use of marijuana is legal: in Nevada, past-year use increased 17.4%, while Oregon and California experienced increases of 15.4% and 14.5%, respectively. Moreover, there was a 25% increase of past-month use of marijuana among 12-17 year-olds in California.
Drug Free America Foundation’s Dr. Sharif Mohr said, “Even though youth marijuana use did not increase across the board in states where the drug is legal, It’s important to keep in mind that such states still lead the nation in adolescent use, which is especially alarming given how vulnerable the adolescent brain is to addiction. Teen marijuana use can lead to substance use disorders, cognitive impairment, diminished motivation and academic performance, permanent IQ loss, and psychiatric problems such as psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and suicide. If anything, we need to double down on prevention efforts targeting this vulnerable population.”