The case for marijuana legalization just got stronger
America’s high school students are using drugs and alcohol at or near the lowest levels on record, according to federal data released Wednesday. The 2015 Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) since 1975, found that past-year use of alcohol and illicit drugs other than marijuana continued their two-decade-long decline among America’s 8th- , 10th- and 12th-graders.
Teen marijuana use has fallen slightly over the past five years, at a time when four states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana and 23 others allow medical use.
“We are heartened to see that most illicit drug use is not increasing, non-medical use of prescription opioids is decreasing, and there is improvement in alcohol and cigarette use rates,” NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow said in a statement. In 2015, teen use of both alcohol and cigarettes reached their lowest levels since the study began 40 years ago. And use of especially dangerous drugs, like heroin, amphetamines and so-called synthetic marijuana, also declined this year.
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