More Young Adults Are Smoking Weed, and It’s a Good Thing!

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By Habit 420

Oregon Cannabis Connection


Sept 10, 2016  – You hear all the time that young people should not smoke weed. Don’t like that term? How about use marijuana? No? Ok, then we will be as PC as possible…consume cannabis! Call it what you will, its still the same plant, which is pretty benign compared to the other drugs kids often experience and sometimes abuse. There is no doubt that youngsters should avoid cannabis, but when we get into the young adult stages (say 17 or over), I think they are better off indulging in some cannabis use than excessive drinking, or experimenting with vile drugs like meth, prescription pills, or heroin.

It seems to me the excessive attention paid to young adults using cannabis is just that, excessive attention. The most recent report from a four-decade-long continuing study of drug, tobacco and alcohol use being done by by the University of Michigan shows people in their 40s and 50s used far more drugs, and far worse drugs, in their young adult years than do people in their teens and 20s today.

Of course the report also showed an increase in marijuana use in this age group, which is obviously no surprise since the perceived risk of marijuana has gone down with legalization happening in all parts of the country. Researches, as usual, are voicing their concerns over marijuana and the effect on young brains. But, one major problem is they are basing those concerns on old science, in almost every instance, where there was a negative bias against cannabis and its effects. Most studies are over 12 years old which, in terms of the ever changing attitudes towards cannabis and its effects, is a very long time.

Not forgetting their could be harmful effects from cannabis consumption by young adults, lets consider the most important findings of the recent report. The researchers found a decrease in illicit drug use, including meth, heroin, prescription drugs, molly and others.

From University of Michigan:

In contrast to the story for marijuana use, other types of drug use are declining among college students. Non-medical use of one very important class of drugs, prescription narcotic drugs, has been declining among college students since reaching a high in 2006 of 8.8 percent annual prevalence (that is, any use in the prior 12 months). By 2015, 3.3 percent of college students reported using any narcotic drug in the past 12 months without medical supervision — a drop of about six tenths.

It appears that college students, at least, are hearing and heeding the warnings about the very considerable dangers of using narcotic drugs,” said Lloyd Johnston, the study’s principal investigator.

Use of heroin, another narcotic drug, has been low among college students for many years. The highest annual prevalence recorded since 1980 was in 1998 at 0.6 percent, but the rate has been at or under 0.3 percent since 2005 and was down to 0.1 percent in 2015.

Of course, alcohol is still by far number one at colleges and among the youth. 63% reported having used alcohol in the past 30 days, with 40% saying they had participated in Binge drinking. 38% of college students had been “drunk” in the past 30 days.

More from University of Michigan:

Binge drinking — defined as having five or more drinks on at least one occasion in the past two weeks — was reported by 40 percent of all college students in 2015 (close to the 38 percent who reported being drunk in the last month). While the rate of binge drinking has gradually declined among college males over the past thirty years, there has been very little change in the rate among college females, resulting in some closing of the gap between the genders (though males have consistently had a higher rate of binge drinking).

Of even greater concern than binge drinking is what we have called ‘extreme binge drinking,’ defined as having 10 or more drinks—or even 15 or more drinks—on at least one occasion in the prior two weeks,” Johnston said.

Over the years 2011 to 2015 combined, about one in nine college students (11.2 percent) reported having 10 or more drinks in a row on at least one occasion in the prior two weeks, while one in 25 (4.0 percent) reported having 15 or more drinks in a row at least once in the same interval.

So, when young Johnny is off at school for his Freshman year, would you rather have him go to a frat party and get shit-faced, and possibly have a friend drive him home, or would you rather he chill in a dorm room with a couple of pals and smoke a fatty? I think the fatty smoking co-ed is a much preferable behavior than the shit-faced drunken college kid, or one strung out on molly every weekend.

© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.

 

Habit420

Habit 420 is a Oregon Medical Marijuana Program participant for over ten years, a grower, and an activist. He believes cannabis has a unique place in our society and should be embraced for medical and adult use. To correspond with him, email him at goddabber@gmail.com

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