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More Than Half Of High School Seniors Do Not Think Marijuana Is Harmful

Update Date: Dec 19, 2013 09:05 AM EST

Marijuana use among youth people and especially students is on the rise, a new survey has found.

The survey conducted by National Institutes of Health showed that sixty percent of U.S. high school seniors did not see regular marijuana use as harmful practice for their health. The data recorded also highlight the fact that teens are using it more often than they have in the past.

The NIH 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey measures drug use and other related opinions among eighth, 10th and 12th graders in the United States.

In this year’s survey around 41,675 students from 389 schools participated. Among them, only 39.5% of 12th graders thought that marijuana was harmful. In the same survey last year the percentage was 44.1%.

The pot usage has also increased slightly compared to previous years. This year 6.5% of seniors accepted that they were smoking pot daily, compared to 6% of who reported the habit in 2003 and 2.4% in 1993.

“We should be extremely concerned that 12 percent of 13- to 14-year-olds are using marijuana. The children whose experimentation leads to regular use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement to Time.

However, the use of K2 or Spice which is commonly referred as synthetic marijuana dropped 3.4 per cent among same high school seniors.

“Synthetic drugs are particularly dangerous because their ingredients are unknown, they have not been tested for safety and their ever-changing ingredients can be unusually powerful,” said lead researcher Lloyd Johnston, according to WTNH. “Users really don’t know what they are getting.”

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