Pubdate: Fri, 13 Mar 2015
Source: Herald, The (Everett, WA)
Copyright: 2015 Associated Press


SEATTLE (AP) - Washington high school students who participated in a 
statewide survey say marijuana is easy to get and they do not 
perceive any risk from smoking pot once or twice.

While high school smoking of tobacco continues to go down, marijuana 
use has remained stable since the last healthy youth survey was 
conducted two years ago, state health officials said Thursday.

More than 200,000 students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 in Washington 
public schools took the voluntary and anonymous survey in October. 
They answered questions about their health and behaviors.

About 72 percent of 12th-graders and 61 percent of 10th-graders said 
they perceived no or low risk from trying marijuana once or twice. 
And 66 percent of 12th-graders and 53 percent of 10th-graders said 
marijuana is easy or very easy to get.

Washington legalized marijuana for adult use about two years ago, but 
it remains illegal for anyone younger than 21 to use or possess pot. 
Despite the law, about 27 percent of 12th-graders and 18 percent of 
10th-graders reported using marijuana at least once during the month 
before the survey was conducted.

Most of the students surveyed reported that they think their parents 
believe youth marijuana use is wrong, and those who know of their 
parents' objections are somewhat less likely to use it.

Students reported less use of alcohol and other drugs than they did 
in previous surveys. Fewer sophomores reported driving in cars with 
drinking drivers - 24 percent in 2008 compared with 18 percent in 
2014. But health officials reported an increase in the number of 
students who reported riding in a car with a driver who had been 
using marijuana.

Washington Health Secretary John Wiesman said he wants to take the 
lessons learned from helping kids cut down on tobacco and alcohol use 
and apply them to marijuana. "This includes passing laws limiting 
youth access to vaping products and funding education campaigns to 
prevent underage use of marijuana," Wiesman said in a statement.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom