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Report: High School Kids Twice As Likely to Smoke Pot As to Smoke Cigarettes -- Alcohol Consumption Also Down

That's a good thing.
 
 
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A survey from this October reveals that Washington state high school students are twice as likely to smoke weed as they are cigarettes.  Interestingly, while cigarette smoking is down among 6-12th graders, so too is the belief that marijuana use is ‘risky.’  

After the survey was released, Washington Health Secretary Mary Selecky said she is concerned that Washington’s recent legalization of marijuana will raise barriers to education prevention, but University of Washington researcher Roger Roffman points out that legalization is an improvement over a failed policy of prohibition and that the government had failed to adequately educate youths about marijuana.

"More adolescents reducing their use of tobacco is an indicator, as I see it, of the effectiveness of well-funded, science-based education," Roger Roffman, a professor emeritus of social work and a therapist told the Associated Press, "If that can work with tobacco, why wouldn't it work with regard to marijuana?"

Roffman told the AP he expects marijuana legalization to encourage healthier decisions, and he’s probably right. As the survey shows, kids are already choosing to use a relatively harmless substance (pot) over a toxic, cancer-causing one -- and that's a good thing. The survey also found that alcohol consumption among 10th graders had decreased 5 percent. It's no secret weed is a much safer choice than booze. 

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne

 
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