A recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoked marijuana daily and almost one-fourth of the country’s high school seniors used the drug within the past month. The survey was conducted for the 2012 Monitoring the Future Survey.
3.5 percent of tenth grade students reported that they use marijuana daily, with 17 percent using the drug within the past month. National Institute of Drug Abuse Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow said, “We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing too many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life.” Volkow said a key ingredient in marijuana, THC, alters the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain related to cognitive skills and memory.
The survey was conducted on 45,000 eighth, tenth and twelveth grade students. Compared to previous years, fewer students found that marijuana was harmful according to Bloomberg.com reports. Among twelveth grade students, only 20.6 percent of them saw marijuana use as a harmful activity.
“Heavy use of marijuana – particularly beginning in adolescence – brings the risk of serious problems and our own data have shown it can lead to involvement with alcohol and other drugs as well,” said President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org Steve Pasierb.
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