In the 21st century, it seems U.S. teens increasingly prefer Jack Herer to the Marlboro Man. 2011 marked the first time high school students reported smoking marijuana with greater frequency than cigarettes, according to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the annual survey entitled Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS), 15,425 students from 158 high schools across the nation filled out questionnaires on a variety of sex, drinking, drugs, and other risky behavior-related topics. While 23 percent of students said they had smoked pot at least once in the past thirty days, only 18 percent disclosed they had smoked cigarettes at least one day during that timeframe. Socially acceptable drinking still dwarves smoking pot or tobacco – over 38 percent of students had at least one alcoholic beverage in the past month.
The YRBS stats coalesce with the Partnership at Drugfree.org study issued in May that reported in 2011, 27 percent of high school students had smoked pot in the past month. Going deeper into the YRBS tabulations, we find that almost 40 percent (39.9) of high school students have tried pot at least once in their lives, with males trying weed at a higher rate than females and with black and Latino males more likely than white males to have tried cannabis. Of the recent pot smokers, only 5.9 percent of students admitted to getting high on school property in the past month, which may just be the “riskiest behavior” of them all.
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