Marijuana use Among Young Adults at Highest Rate in over 20 years

A number of studies have indicated that adolescents who reported frequently taking marijuana did worse on tests and have lower IQ scores, being more likely to drop out of school and more prone to certain psychological diseases. While it has not been proven that marijuana was the cause of all these elements there is an association. Frequent marijuana consumption for young adults might not be the most sensible option until they are fully grown and matured.

Recent Marijuana Study

In light of the above information, it is unfortunate that marijuana use among young adults is at the highest it has been since the eighties.  This obviously has to do with the increased legalization of marijuana and the growing awareness that it is a superfood that can cure many ills and treat many harsh diseases. This trend is on the rise and daily marijuana use for university students in the US is for the first time larger than cigarette smokers. While this might be considered a huge step up, it is still arguably not an ideal situation. University students need some level of motivation, drive and discipline in order to actively go out into society and positively contribute, not simply smoke all day long demanding that the government take care of them, which is what seems to happen from students taking liberal arts degrees.

A series of national surveys of U.S. university students, as part of the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study (MFS Study), demonstrates that marijuana use has been growing slowly on the nation’s campuses since 2006. Daily marijuana use was reported by 6% percent of university students in 2014—the highest rate since 1980, the first year that complete college data were available in the study. Young adults for the purposes of the study are adults in the age 19-22.

This rate of use is up over 3% percent in 2007. In other words, one in every 17 college students is smoking marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis, defined on 20 or more occasions in the prior 30 days.Other measures of marijuana use have also shown an increase. The percent using marijuana once or more in the prior 30 days rose from 17 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2014. Use in the prior 12 months rose from 30 percent in 2006 to 34 percent in 2014. Both of these measures leveled in 2014. A total of 38% of students said they used marijuana in the past 12 months, up from 30% in 2006. This is due to the fact that the perception of marijuana as dangerous has changed. There has typically been a huge amount of stigma associated with cannabis usage among younger generations, and there have been many connotations between cannabis and crime. All this stigma is evaporating in the light of awareness as people can now see cannabis for what it is – a relaxing plant. The danger is with any drug, that it becomes a daily use. Anything used daily like this sooner or later becomes a crutch to be relied upon, even if the substance is as benign as marijuana.

However, despite marijuana use increasing, young adults smoking hookah pipes and e-cigarettes are trending downwards, which the researchers note could be linked to Food and Drug Administration regulations on these products. For marijuana use among 19 to 22 yearolds, around 8% reported smoking cannabis daily in 2016, compared to 4 % in 1996. For non-college youth, 12.8 percent reported smoking marijuana daily in 2016 compared to 5.3 percent in 1996, and 4.9 percent of full-time college students smoked marijuana daily last year compared to 2.8 percent in the previous decade.

Other Narcotics

Unfortunately, the study also found an increase in the use of amphetamines, most probably to gain better test scores. Adderall use is at 10% in college campuses, a shockingly high figure when compared to universities around the world. In fact, the study seemed to find a small increase in many drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, and MDMA. The use of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs, once popular in this age group, remains at low levels of use on campus, with past-year usage rates at 2.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. And use of the so-called club drugs (Ketamine, GHBetc) remains very low. The nonmedical use of narcotic drugs—which has accounted for an increasing number of deaths in recent years according to official statistics—has actually been declining among college students, falling from nearly 9% reporting past-year use in 2006 down to just under 5% percent by 2014. The is a very welcome change. Interestingly the amount of alcohol consumed also seems to be on the decline a little but, however the figure still remains quite high, particularly in terms of binge drinking.

Worrying Results

Overall the findings of the study are a little worrying, with college campuses still being places where students are expected to find new ways to explore their consciousness. As long as it does not become a lifelong habit then it is arguably ok. The issue as usual lies in dependency. Students should not rely on Adderall to help them to focus or exclusively on marijuana to help them relax. Cannabisis a drug effective for relaxation and creativity, daily use among students does not bode particularly well for the future of a productive and efficient economy.


Geez, there seem to be a lot of people named Ann who write marijuana blogs. Well, that’s my name too, and when I asked my mom why she decided to give me such a mundane label she explained that the name Ann meant God has favored me. My name took on a whole new significance and I no longer thought it boring. And God has favored me – he gave me the gift of the gab and he smiled his approval when I decided to move to San Francisco. I love this city, I love the people, and most of all I love writing about marijuana.

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