4/20 and youth marijuana use

According to CADCA, coalitions are “re-mixing” what “420” means to youth, changing the perception that marijuana is not harmful, and are re-claiming April 20th from an unofficial marijuana smokers’ “holiday.”

In observance of 4/20, I thought I'd post some Washington State data about youth marijuana use.

Access vs. Use
While Washington State 10th and 12th graders say that marijuana is as easy to get as alcohol, alcohol use among high school students remains higher than marijuana use.  Legal, regulated alcohol is used at higher rates than marijuana.  (2010 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey)

Youth Drug Use Trends
Over the past six years, underage drinking and tobacco use rates have declined while youth marijuana use rates have increased.  (Washington State Healthy Youth Survey)

Perception of Risk
Over the past few years, fewer youth report that marijuana use is risky.  As the chart of national data below shows, when perception of risk decreases, use increases.  Some people speculate that the national debate about medical marijuana and marijuana legalization has contributed to this decline in perceived risk.

Youth Treatment & Marijuana
Though alcohol is the #1 drug used by youth, marijuana is the #1 reason youth enter treatment.  This differs from adults, who enter treatment primarily for alcohol-related problems.    

Sources of data:

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