Investigators at Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis evaluated government survey data regarding adolescents’ self-reported drug use during the years 2002 to 2013. Over 216,000 adolescents ages 12 to 17 participated in the federally commissioned surveys.
Researchers reported that the percentage of respondents who said that they had used cannabis over the past year fell by ten percent during the study period. The number of adolescents reporting marijuana-related problems, such as engaging in habitual use of the plant, declined by 24 percent from 2002 to 2013.
The study’s findings are consistent with previous evaluations reporting decreased marijuana use and abuse by young people over the past decade and a half – a period of time during which numerous states have liberalized their cannabis policies.
Full text of the study, “Declining prevalence of marijuana use disorders among adolescents in the United States, 2002 to 2013,” appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.