Dr. Nora Volkow, director of National Institute on Drug Abuse, regarding the recent Monitoring the Future survey:
The other things that are worrisome have to do with the indicators of attitudes. For example, in the case of marijuana, we have not seen any change. Itâ€™s sort of stable. The values are stable â€” they have not gone down as they have for other drugs. But what is worrisome is not only that we still have 32 percent of twelfth graders having abuse in the past year (which is very high, one in three) but the fact that the attitudes toward the perception of risk for marijuana are actually going down. That is to say there are fewer kids that feel that marijuana is dangerous. And in the case of marijuana, all along the survey, we have shown from the data that the attitudes regarding its dangerousness very much predict the prevalence of its abuse.
But because itâ€™s a drug that is widely available â€” actually 80 percent of kids state that they can get access to it very easily â€” when you have a situation like that, where the perception that the drug is easily available, the variable that constitutes the most to whether they will take it or not is the sense of whether the drug is risky or not.
So weâ€™ve been seeing significant decreases in the number of adolescents believing that marijuana is dangerous. We are concerned that if this is not addressed, then we will start [having] an increase in the rate of consumption of marijuana. So that was on of the things that raised an alert flag.
We don’t have any way of regulating marijuana use for teens. With cigarettes, we have age limits, but with marijuana, we turned that all over to the black market â€” and they’ll sell it to anybody. Obviously, law enforcement can’t do shit about stopping the black market in marijuana. Kids can get it easily.
So the only way we can think of to prevent teens from using marijuana is to lie to them about its dangers.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, and a whole lot of lies, they’re starting to learn the truth. Somebody must be talking.
We’re in big trouble.