'The patterns of adolescent substance use are changing, and marijuana is increasingly the first substance in the sequence of recreational drug use for adolescents, according researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Traditionally, students experiment with cigarettes and alcohol before cannabis, but since 2006, less than 50 percent of adolescents try cigarettes and alcohol before they try cannabis for the first time. The findings are published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
"Alcohol and cigarette use have precipitously declined in adolescent populations for 20 years, while marijuana use has not," said Katherine M. Keyes, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School. "The perceived risk of marijuana use to health among adolescents is declining as well, portending potential future increases. In short, the timing of substances in the 'gateway' sequence is changing, as public perceptions about drugs of abuse change."
The 10 Reasons Cannabis Is Far Safer Than Alcohol For The Consumer and Community
For decades, governments have led the public to believe that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug that has destroyed the lives of countless teens and adults. We have also been encouraged to accept through poorly designed scientific studies, that marijuana causes lung cancer and is a "gateway" to harder drugs. Government policy and research has attempted to convince the public that people who use marijuana are more at risk to themselves and the public than those who use alcohol. Teens have become very vocal regarding this misrepresentation of facts.'
Read more: Alcohol and Cigarette Industries Panicking As More Teens Choose Marijuana Above All Else
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