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January 3, 2013


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IRA DREYFUSS: From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

What teenagers have been saying about marijuana recently is worrying experts in the field. The 2012 Monitoring the Future survey of eighth, 10th and 12th graders reports continued high use of the drug, along with a drop in the teens’ perception of its potential harm. At the 12th grade level, for instance, only 44 percent saw regular use as harmful.

Researcher Lloyd Johnston of the University of Michigan, who leads the study, gives 12th graders as an example:

“If you’re looking at a class of 30 kids, two of them are heavy pot smokers, on average. And given the increasing information about the consequences of that – including dependence, including brain damage, including the effect on IQ – that is really of concern.”

The study is supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.