Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study. More than 48 million Americans over the age of 12 have used marijuana in the last year according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, making it the most common illicit drug used in the United States. Roughly Marijuana is also surprisingly available to youths, even in middle school.
Statistics on Marijuana Use in Teens
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Aron Janssen, MD is board certified in child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry and is the vice chair of child and adolescent psychiatry Northwestern University. The stigma of marijuana use has declined since the early s, with some states legalizing it for medical and even recreational uses. While it may not be as problematic for adult use as once believed, there are still plenty of good reasons to discourage pot smoking in teenagers. First of all, it's illegal. And research by the National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA indicates that childhood marijuana use can affect learning ability, attention, memory, coordination, balance, judgment, and decision-making. It would be nice if there was one clear reason that children and young teenagers begin using marijuana , but there are actually many reasons teens choose to begin smoking weed.
Marijuana and Teens
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The teen years are a time of growth, exploration, and risk-taking. Some risk-taking may foster identity development and independence e. The teen brain is actively developing and continues to develop until around age