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PUBLIC OPINION > Teen Marijuana Use Is Not That Big of a Deal

News 2012/05/04 16:00:00
We've done polls on marijuana in the past, and typically voters give it the polling equivalent of a shrug. Even if they don't smoke it or condone it, it's not as dangerous as alcohol and not worth fussing over. But a recent survey shows teen marijuana use is on the rise -- nearly 10% of teens are smoking 20 times a month or more. No wonder it's California's biggest cash crop! Teen use can be scary, though, as the longterm effects of marijuana use on developing brains is still unclear, and bad habits can form in those early years. So we asked the public if the increase in teen use is cause for concern.



Again, the majority feels marijuana is just not that big of a deal. Even with teens, the sentiment seems to be, "Better weed than alcohol." The Top Opinion read, "Sure I would prefer they didn't do all of these things but when you look at the alternatives kids that want to get high really bad probably will, and if it's not marijuana it will probably be something dangerous." Yes, weed can be bad. It can be habit-forming, and it can glue you to the couch. But hey, at least they aren't drinking hand sanitizer.

Fluctuating Feelings

Teens themselves were exactly in-line with the overall vote -- exactly 41% are pretty concerned. As voters got a little bit older, in their early 20s, that number dipped to 29% concern. Then it worked its way back up to 57% as voters entered their 50s. Age definitely showed a pattern, but the change of heart was slow-turning, reversible, and not very passionate.


Reluctance From the Right

The two demographics that showed considerable resistance were Christians and conservatives, both coming in at about 65% concern. It's not that they think marijuana is going to destroy the youth, they're just reluctant to give it a green light. No pun intended. Plus, it's illegal, which certainly adds weight to the issue from a right-leaning perspective.

Shrug From the Smokers

As usual, smokers tend to back the marijuana users. Drinkers, too, though not as much. It would be silly to condemn the use of marijuana when you're indulging in a relatively risky substance yourself. As far as we know, like the Top Opinion said, tobacco and alcohol have more risk involved. You might be better off without it, but weed never killed anyone. Not officially, at least.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about teen marijuana use. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • wilsonmja 2012/05/05 01:05:53
    wilsonmja
    +19
    Conservatives crack me up. From a conservative you would likely hear "guns don't kill people, people do." I happen to agree with the sentiment behind that. However, I also believe that drugs don't ruin lives, people ruin lives. For some reason a conservative cant see how it's the same thing.

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  • sundance ManBearPig 2012/05/07 04:00:36 (edited)
  • aneed2know Matt 2012/05/06 09:25:01
    aneed2know
    Actually it is not stronger, the only difference is that Americans were getting the crappy stuff, nothing has changed but the way and where we get it. It is the same, the people who can afford it get the good weed and the ones who cant get the crappy stuff. Its the same as alcohol, them ones who can afford it gets the good stuff and the ones who cant gets the bottom shelf.
  • sundance aneed2know 2012/05/06 21:53:38
    sundance
    Actually, samples of high grade Marijuana confiscated decades ago, and compared to the same strains today, show a marked (in some cases over a thousand times) raise in potency. With the advent of modern growing, fertilizing and special cloning and cross breeding techniques, we have managed to grow some amazingly potent herb...just a thought...
  • aneed2know sundance 2012/05/07 04:12:36
    aneed2know
    You are wrong, and i can prove it, believe me i dont advocate for anything unless i have studded the issue thoroughly. Its not a pissing match between us, we both agree that it should legal. We just disagree on this topic.
  • sundance aneed2know 2012/05/07 10:08:41 (edited)
    sundance
    My error?....Please educate me on the topic. Among others, I have an extensive background in chemistry and botany. I also invested a great deal of time and effort, (literally) laboring in the subject....Just a thought....
  • aneed2know sundance 2012/05/07 10:24:30
    aneed2know
    Like i said no need to get testy, and i am sure you have studied this topic, but you are wrong and like is aid the only difference between the weed that was available then as to now is the quality. But i see you want to act like a jackass, so i can act like a jackass also.

    Has marijuana become stronger?

    Some people say that the marijuana that is used nowadays is a lot stronger than it used to be. There have been media reports of marijuana being up to 30 times stronger today than during the 1970s. It would be concerning if marijuana was a lot stronger because this could lead to more negative side-effects of marijuana use. There has been an increase in health problems related to marijuana in Australia over the last 20 years but it is not clear whether this is because marijuana has become stronger.

    It cannot be definitively determined whether the marijuana used here in Australia has become more potent over time because there is no data on this. The increase in health problems is more likely to be due to the increased popularity of using stronger parts of the plant. While marijuana users in the 1970s were most likely to smoke the leaves, marijuana users today prefer to smoke the more potent flowering tops, or buds of the plant. Furthermore, there is good evidence that the age at wh...



    Like i said no need to get testy, and i am sure you have studied this topic, but you are wrong and like is aid the only difference between the weed that was available then as to now is the quality. But i see you want to act like a jackass, so i can act like a jackass also.

    Has marijuana become stronger?

    Some people say that the marijuana that is used nowadays is a lot stronger than it used to be. There have been media reports of marijuana being up to 30 times stronger today than during the 1970s. It would be concerning if marijuana was a lot stronger because this could lead to more negative side-effects of marijuana use. There has been an increase in health problems related to marijuana in Australia over the last 20 years but it is not clear whether this is because marijuana has become stronger.

    It cannot be definitively determined whether the marijuana used here in Australia has become more potent over time because there is no data on this. The increase in health problems is more likely to be due to the increased popularity of using stronger parts of the plant. While marijuana users in the 1970s were most likely to smoke the leaves, marijuana users today prefer to smoke the more potent flowering tops, or buds of the plant. Furthermore, there is good evidence that the age at which people commence using marijuana has, until recently, been going down. Research shows, that young regular (daily or near daily) users are most at risk of many of the adverse effects of marijuana including mental health problems and dependence.

    In the USA, THC levels of marijuana have risen over the last 25 years. According to data recently released, marijuana potency has risen from about 4% to 9% since 1983. In New Zealand, the potency of THC has not changed. In Europe, cannabis potency appears to have remained the same in most places, except the Netherlands, where an increase has occurred. Certain varieties of cannabis such as sinsemilla have also recorded increased potency in the UK.

    But you go ahead and keep believing in the governments propaganda, teh only difference is the strains that are available.
    (more)
  • sundance aneed2know 2012/05/07 18:43:55
    sundance
    First, do you have emotional tourettes bro? or do you see any challenge to your thought process as an enemy boarding your ship? I, in no way, attacked you. So does questioning your authority earn me the "jackass" label? I do, however, question that validity of your statement. Now, if that is going to cause you to feel atacked, we can stop right here, and you can go on believe what you want. If you can calm down a bit, I will tell you the real story. I have just a tiny bit more experience that I may have led on....Just a thought

    PS...I dont listen to the government, as I know that when their mouths are moving, they are lying.....
  • aneed2know sundance 2012/05/08 04:28:49
    aneed2know
    so this is not a snarky response or a back door attack?

    http://www.sodahead.com/unite...

    dude i am not stone now and i only smoke on the weekends so i know when some one is being an a$$ and when they are not.
  • sundance aneed2know 2012/05/08 11:45:55
  • sundance Matt 2012/05/07 10:06:36
    sundance
    I would be curious, as to the source of your statistics....
  • Matt sundance 2012/05/11 12:45:57 (edited)
    Matt
    from a study of over 8,000 people in 1994 by epidemiologist James Anthony..
    this link should take you straight to a pdf
    EDIT: link did not work - just google james anthony epidemiologist 1994 and you will find it quickly...
  • sundance Matt 2012/05/12 08:31:11
    sundance
    OK, been a long day. Are we still on the psychological vs physical addiction thing?....
  • Matt sundance 2012/05/13 23:51:16
    Matt
    lol yes long day - stats to show percentage of people that use various substances and their addiction rate
  • sundance Matt 2012/05/14 02:41:35
    sundance
    I did the Google thing, and I found a lot of useful info. I am not sure what the general consensus on Marijuana is. However, I look at it very realistically, and I see it as a drug. I also look at self control (which most teens do not have) and self indulgence (which teens have in copious amounts). I don't think I am as worried about the substance, as I am about the user. On the psychologically addicting vs physically addicting argument. I have to side with logic. Anything that alters or changes the chemistry in the brain, can be addictive, and does have profound physical effects on the body. Given that substance has "pleasure" associated with it, then the easier the user will succumb to the addiction...These are the basic precepts of chemistry and addiction...Just a thought....

    PS...Thanks for bringing me up to speed, and have a good one....
  • Matt sundance 2012/05/14 03:43:09
    Matt
    yeah, good points, teen lack of self control or thoughts of consequences is a problem.

    Personally i dont do drugs anyway, well a few beers from time to time, so my uninformed opinion is that a serious alcohol problem is more harmful than a serious marijuana problem - but i am willing to stand corrected by the opinions of those who have real world experience with both.
  • sundance Matt 2012/05/14 04:53:35
    sundance
    Well, to say that I "dabbled", would be a bit of a stretch. I did partake of a lot of herb when I was younger. However, when I joined the working, functional world, I just walked away from it. I can report that it was not an easy thing to do. Now could I say that I was addicted? I am not sure. I am sure, that I was definitely addicted to the accentuation that it causes to my creativity. I remember it making music, painting, martial arts and more personal endeavors, much more intense. I would hypothesize that, this may actually be the root of Marijuana reported addictive properties. At any rate, I would say that the use of Marijuana, and productive, successful, responsible behaviors may not have synonymous outcomes. I hope this helps. I appreciate the responses, and hope you have a good day....Just a thought...
  • lee 2012/05/05 00:11:43 (edited)
    lee
    +3
    not surprising the authoritarian types (christians and conservatives) are reluctant...

    they're reluctant on EVERYTHING....

    its who they ARE.


    that's why they need the rest of us, to PUSH them.
  • Brian P lee 2012/05/05 01:22:58
    Brian P
    +1
    or to SLAP them
  • freebirdie lee 2012/05/05 02:02:41
    freebirdie
    HAahahaha. No, authoritarian types are certainly not Christians or conservatives. More like those who attend OWS rallies or become progressive democrats.
  • Tink123 freebirdie 2012/05/05 02:11:30
    Tink123
    +4
    I would have to disagree with that. The Conservative platform has moved closer and closer to authoritarianism as the years have passed. And that is assuming the Con platform was ever even about limited govt. to begin with.

    I'm a Libertarian - I identify well with most of the principles cons "claim." But therein lies the problem - the principles they "claim" and the policies they support, in practice, are two entirely separate worlds. I want to believe they support limited govt. - I really do, but I just don't see that in the people they elect and they policies they support. imho
  • freebirdie Tink123 2012/05/05 02:18:09
    freebirdie
    It's not authoritarian. It's tired of being walked on! THey are finally standing up.
  • Tink123 freebirdie 2012/05/05 02:23:38
    Tink123
    +3
    That doesn't change the fact that they want to rule over other people.
  • freebirdie Tink123 2012/05/05 02:29:02
    freebirdie
    Not true. They don't want to "rule over other people", they want to take the rules and regs OFF that were imposed upon them by those other people.
  • Tink123 freebirdie 2012/05/05 02:32:52
    Tink123
    +3
    Except when it comes to "national security," pot, marriage, abortion and on and on and on. They're peddling the same social engineering only from a different perspective.
  • freebirdie Tink123 2012/05/05 12:42:02
    freebirdie
    I see how you could see it that way but I see it as protecting people. I don't have time to day to go into it but I will later if you want.
  • Tink123 freebirdie 2012/05/05 13:51:12 (edited)
    Tink123
    +2
    And progressives see forced wealth redistribution, mandated health insurance, political correctness and telling us what we should or shouldn't / can or can't eat as "protecting people."

    Some of the most horrid laws imaginable have been laid down under the guise of "protecting people."

    No need to go into it - I don't think it works. Neither sides brand of it works. MO - that's how we arrived at this point. Einstein famously stated that you cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness which created it.

    If that be true - and I think it is - then we'd serve ourselves well to stop trying to force other people into what 'we' think may be "for their own good."
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/05 17:06:15 (edited)
    lee
    consumer protections are what liberals want... to be protected from those who would intentionally set out to exploit us.

    we don't expect to be protected from life or from the freedom to choose our mate, our religion, our diet. or our politics...

    but we should be protected from buying cars that catch on fire when we drive them, or from polluters who want to use our commons (air, water, land) to make a profit without giving anything back.
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/05 17:32:14 (edited)
    Tink123
    +1
    Problem is, both liberals and conservatives protection comes at the expense of others - which means those people get no protection.

    That's why law wasn't meant to be used as an instrument to rule, rather to secure rights. Protection's all good and well until it comes at the expense of rights - then it's not protection, it's compulsion.
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/05 17:36:06
    lee
    do you agree that I have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

    do you think corporations have that same right?

    because only then do you arrive at a conflict between my rights and your rights.
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/05 19:52:31 (edited)
    Tink123
    Yes - all individuals do.

    No, corporations do not have rights - individual people have rights - that includes Unions which are corporations.

    I arrive at a conflict between the agenda of lib/con-prog politicians and my rights.
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/05 19:55:54
    lee
    but you never articulate what that conflict is....

    its easy to tilt at windmills to make yourself feel important.
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/05 19:57:23 (edited)
    Tink123
    +2
    I did - you ignored it. Mandated health insurance.

    Progs claim they've a right to - there is no such right, but even if there were - they've no right to it at the expense of other people.
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/05 21:10:42 (edited)
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/05 22:14:37
    Tink123
    I mentioned the mandate in the comment you initially responded to - you negated to address it. Not my problem.

    You don't know what the SCOTUS is about to rule, so don't pretend to.

    There is a mandate in the Health Care bill that requires everyone to carry insurance or risk penalty under the law. Whether or not it's Constitutional is completely irrelevant to the fact that it is compulsory.

    I very clearly stated that the reason I don't agree with either liberals or conservatives is because they both use compulsion to further THEIR version of "protection."

    So, do you have anything else? Besides trying to predict future events.
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/06 20:10:04
    lee
    the country you live in has a carefully crafted document that sets out exactly how they will use complusion to govern....

    if you oppose it so much you can find another country with a charter more to you liking, but here you WILL be "forced" do comply with the Constituion.
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/06 21:10:37
    Tink123
    I see the probblem...

    The Constitution governs govt. - sets the limitations of govt. - not the people. You are aware of this, yes?

    The government will abide by the Constitution when fashioning law. Tell me, where is the power to lay mandates on the people enumerated to the Federal Govt. in the Constitution?
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/07 05:00:59 (edited)
    lee
    commerce clause is one place.

    art 1, sec 8 is another
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/07 14:10:59 (edited)
    Tink123
    There is no power to lay mandates in the commerce clause, only to regulate commerce. lol A mandate forces an action - those engaged in commerce are already "acting." Two different animals.

    The argument is that the Feds have no authority to force people into commerce - only to regulate those already engaged in commerce.

    Forcing people into commerce is compulsion, btw. They are forcing people into a certain action that they would not have otherwise made of their own free will.

    So, where in the Constitution is the Federal Govt. enumerated / granted the power to lay mandates on the people?
  • lee Tink123 2012/05/07 16:29:42
    lee
    because everyone is already IN the h/c market and doing commerce... that bridge has already been crossed...

    if you are ALIVE, you are DOING commerce in the heathcare marketplace.
  • Tink123 lee 2012/05/07 17:33:58 (edited)
    Tink123
    Nonsense. I'm not - it will force me in.

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