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Teen Drinking Smoking Lowest

December 16, 2011 by staff 

Teen Drinking Smoking Lowest, Fewer teens drink and smoke cigarettes than in any time in the past 30 years, but the widespread availability of medical marijuana appears to be fueling a rise in pot use, health experts said Wednesday.

One in four of the 47,000 teens surveyed for the 2011 Monitoring the Future report said they had used marijuana at some point during the past year, up from 21.4 percent in 2007. The survey, which polled students nationwide in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades, also found that one in 15 of the oldest students used pot on a daily or near-daily basis — the highest rate since 1981.

For the first time, researchers asked 12th grade students about synthetic marijuana, which contains cannabinoids and produces a high similar to pot but is thought to be more dangerous because it can be contaminated with unknown substances. The finding — 11 percent of all high school seniors had tried the substance — surprised researchers.

Sold by the names Spice or K2, the drug has been widely available online and in tobacco shops until recently. In February, the Drug Enforcement Administration reclassified some of the chemicals found in the products as Schedule I controlled substances, which made them illegal.

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