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Blunt Truth: Startling Rise in Teen Marijuana Use Spurs Calls for Urgent Action


📈 The Gist: Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and former White House drug policy advisor, expressed deep concern over the increasing marijuana use and disorder among Americans, particularly the youth, as revealed by the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

🔍 The Details:

  • The survey indicates a significant rise in cannabis use disorder, with 18.98 million Americans affected, marking a 13.9% increase.
  • Instances of driving under the influence of marijuana escalated to 12.49 million cases, a 14.8% rise.
  • Among 12–17-year-olds, the perception of marijuana’s risks dropped to 19.5%, and usage among teens showed a worrying uptick.

📊 By The Numbers:

  • In the 12–13 age group, past-year marijuana use rose by 19.6%, while past-month use went up by 6.7%.
  • The 14–15 age group saw a 20.2% increase in past-year use and a significant 34.0% rise in past-month use.

📜 In Context: Dr. Sabet, leveraging his experience in drug policy, criticizes the growing normalization and commercialization of high-potency marijuana products. He attributes this trend to aggressive industry lobbying and marketing efforts.

⚠️ Why It Matters: Sabet warns that the perceived safety and benefits promoted by the marijuana industry are misleading, especially for young users. He emphasizes the potential harm to mental and physical health, educational attainment, and broader public safety.

🚦 What You Can Do: Be careful about what sources you read about the risks of marijuana use, particularly for youth, and prioritize public health over industry growth and marketing tactics.

🔮 What’s Next?: Sabet urges legislators to enact policies that counter the marijuana industry’s influence, promote public health, and address the misinformation surrounding marijuana use. He advocates for a more responsible approach to drug policy, focusing on prevention, treatment, and public awareness.

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