CDC Report: Childhood Cannabis Use Decreased Over Past 12 Years

By Keith Mansur

Oregon Cannabis Connection


(Sept 3, 2016) – A surprising new study released in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on September 2nd shows a decrease in cannabis use among children ages 12 to 17. The study, which compiled information from 2002 through 2014 in The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The survey is, according to the study, “a national- and state-level survey of a representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population aged ≥12 years.”

Although an increase in use among adults (over 18) was evident, a unexpected finding was a decrease in use children under 17 years old, even with a decrease in the perceived risks and punishment that purportedly caused the young adults (over 18) to increase their use.

From the report:

Since 2002, marijuana use in the United States has increased among persons aged ≥18 years, but not among those aged 12–17 years. A decrease in the perception of great risk from smoking marijuana combined with increases in the perception of availability (i.e., fairly easy or very easy to obtain marijuana) and fewer punitive legal penalties (e.g., no penalty) for the possession of marijuana for personal use might play a role in increased use among adults.”

Whats also a big change is that 8 percent of adults aged 35 to 44 used marijuana regularly in 2014, which surpassed teen use for the first time since 2002. I would chalk that up to medical marijuana expansion nationwide.

I find it interesting that under medical marijuana regulation, and with all the news about cannabis over the dozen years of the study, maybe the education and information has worked. It would be interesting to see a similar comparison in drinking among young adults (over 18) and see if that has decreased with the uptick in cannabis use in that age group?

What do you think? Do you think regulation and education has helped decrease the use of cannabis in children? Comment below, and share the conversation on social media.

© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.

Keith Mansur

Keith Mansur is the founder, publisher, and editor of Oregon Cannabis Connection newspaper. The print publication has been serving Oregon since 2010. He has been a Oregon medical marijuana patient, grower, and caregiver since 2006. Find him on Facebook or email him at

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