Pot use students high
Pot use students high, Pot use by teens reaches new peak. According to a new report, one in 15 high school students smokes marijuana regularly. That’s the highest rate in 30 years. Researchers say some teens have the idea that smoking the drug carries little risks, and that could be due to poor restrictions for getting medical marijuana. School anti-drug programs deserve some of the credit for a downward trend in drug use among Pennsylvania middle and high school students, observers say.
Managers of two midstate drug and alcohol agencies said the findings of the 2007 Pennsylvania Youth Survey show the programs have merit. The survey, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, involved more than 16,000 students and found, in general, that more are saying "no" to drugs and alcohol.
"Our school districts take a lead role," said Jack Carroll, executive director of the Cumberland-Perry Drug & Alcohol Commission. "These reports are an indication they are doing a pretty good job with that."
Jodi Wadel, director of the Franklin/Fulton county Drug & Alcohol Program, said education was a factor in the declines noted in the PAYS survey.
"We are seeing kids make better choices," she said.
Among other things, the PAYS report found that in 2007, 28.6 percent of high school seniors surveyed said they were willing to try marijuana. In 2001, the figure was 40.5 percent.
The findings mirror national trends. Lloyd D. Johnston, a University of Michigan professor and an expert on national drug use data, said national surveys have showed a general decline in student drug use since about 2001.
But Carroll said he was worried about continued funding cutbacks for school anti-drug programs. Most of the money comes from the federal government, he said, and the most recent proposal is for a funding level of $100 million next year, down from $451 million several years ago.
"This data," Carroll said, "is an example of how funds invested in those types of programs are working."