Smokin' in the Boys Room -- What Kids Are Smoking

Filed under: Opinions

A Marijuana LeafDid you know that every year, the federal government funds a study to keep on top of teenage drug use? I didn't. Not that it surprises me, but, no, I didn't know that. Well, it turns out that this year's edition has some surprising numbers in it. Teenagers have not been hanging out in the boys' bathroom smoking cigarettes; they've been smoking marijuana instead.

According to the study, which includes data going back to 1991, cigarette use has fallen from more than fourteen percent of eighth-graders to less than seven percent now with similar decreases in older grades as well. Meanwhile, marijuana use has nearly doubled for eighth-graders, going from just over three percent to nearly six. The difference, according to this article, is that the sales of cigarettes are strictly controlled, with real penalties and fines for sales to minors. Marijuana sales, on the other hand, are not controlled at all, aside from medical usage in California.

I am by no means a supporter of marijuana usage, but I am even less supportive of tobacco use. I've never smoked either and will strongly encourage my kids to eschew them both. That said, it seems clear to me that if the goal is to prevent all kids from smoking tobacco and marijuana, regulation works and prohibition doesn't.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.