Marijuana use dips slightly among teens in 2014,
national Monitoring the Future survey shows
After five years on the rise, marijuana use among teens in a three-grade study group declined slightly in 2014, a new national survey of teens concludes.

The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study, conducted annually among 40,000 to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grades, shows a decline in marijuana use from 26 percent to 24 percent this year for the three grades combined.

"The belief that regular marijuana use harms the user, however, continues to fall among youth, so changes in this believe do not seem to explain the change in use this year as it has done over most of the life of the study," said Lloyd Johnston, the study's principal investigator.

Both alcohol and cigarette use in 2014 are at their lowest points since the study began in 1975. Use of the number of illicit drugs also show declines this year. The use of e-cigarettes by teens surpassed "regular" cigarette use.

"In sum, there is a lot of good news in this year's results, but the problems of teen substance use and abuse are still far from going away," Johnston said.

A Dec. 16 news release hitting the high points and the complete summary may be downloaded from the Monitoring the Future web site. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has also posted an article summarizing the survey.

Marijuana industry borrows marketing
manual written by Big Tobacco


"The formula for success in profiting from a legal drug is simple and has been clearly outlined by Big Tobacco: Identify a product with addictive potential, aggressively market it to as large an audience as possible, develop technical innovations to allow for and promote increased consumption, and deny or minimize potential costs to human health. The marijuana industry is poised to copy this formula, with dire consequences." - Samuel T. Wilkinson, resident physician at Yale School of Medicine. 


With legalization of marijuana spreading to more states, the marijuana industry is mimicking the historic tobacco industry in ways it's marketing the drug, a resident physician at the Yale School of Medicine writes in the Washington Post.

"Alarmingly, marijuana businesses are now mimicking many of Big Tobacco’s successful strategies," Dr. Samuel Wilkinson states. "New methods of consuming marijuana (such as vaporization) are said to represent a healthier way to get high — though little research supports this claim — encouraging individuals to consume more marijuana in one sitting.

"The percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (the euphoria-inducing compound associated with many adverse health effects) in marijuana is much higher than it was a few decades ago. Just as tobacco companies featured doctors in advertisement campaigns, marijuana advocates have appealed to medical authority by successfully lobbying in many places for the approval of “medical marijuana” for a plethora of conditions, even when little or no scientific evidence supports its use."

Straddling the line between medical and retail marijuana
A panel organized by The Seattle Times and moderated by Times reporter Jonathan Martin weighs in on the medical vs. recreational marijuana market debate and proposed legislation to reconcile the two by Washington state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

YouTube Video


Mentioned in the Media

U.S. Justice says Indian tribes can grow,
sell marijuana on their land in Oregon, Washington
The U.S. Justice Department said Thursday Indian tribes can grow and sell marijuana on their lands as long as they follow the same federal conditions laid out for states that have legalized the drug.Only three tribes have expressed interest in growing and selling marijuana, said Oregon U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall, who co-chaired a group that developed the policy. One is in California, one in Washington state and one in the Midwest. She did not name them. Read more on this development in Oregon Live.

Tacoma News Tribune
Marijuana breath test under development at WSU
A team at Washington State University is working to develop a breath test that could quickly determine whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana, writes Melissa Santos in the Tacoma News Tribune. Law enforcement officers already use preliminary breath tests in the field to estimate drivers’ blood alcohol content. But no similar portable tool exists to test for marijuana impairment via a breath sample. Full article in TNT.




A Dec. 9, 2014 webinar co-hosted by The Heritage Foundation and SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) features the views on marijuana legalization of two U.S. Congressmen who are also physicians, along with a panel of experts. The webinar covers  the impacts on young brains as well as to the hearts, lungs and mental health on adult population. In making their case against further legalization, panelists also discuss the business and economic impacts of pot and state that there is still much scientifically unknown about the drug.


Office of National Drug Control Policy