As Culture Shifts, New Marijuana Talks For Teens

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Seattle resident takes marijuana from a plastic bag shortly after a law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana took effect on December 6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Stephen Brashear/Getty)

With medical marijuana legal in 20 states and recreational pot legal in Washington and Colorado, the national conversation around marijuana is changing rapidly. And many are wary about what this means for teens.

Between 2005 and 2013, the percent of 8th graders who saw regular marijuana use as risky fell from 74 to 61 percent. For high school seniors it went from 58 to 40 percent. At the same time, a federal report finds that marijuana usage among teenagers is steadily increasing, while use of alcohol and harder drugs are decreasing.

Roger Roffman is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, School of Social Work and he’s been studying the affects of marijuana use on adults and teens for over 25 years. He helps us wade through this shifting culture around marijuana and what it means for adolescents.

Alex Szablya Ramdin is a Washington state parent of two kids, ages 16 and 12. Now that marijuana is legal in her state, she discusses how the conversation about pot is changing.


Roger Roffman and Alex Szablya Ramdin

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson and Ellen Frankman


T.J. Raphael

Comments [9]

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May. 20 2014 07:20 AM
sam winston from detroit michigan

Plus because the paradigm current medicine is trapped in, doctors orders, doctor prescribed, etc. The idea of self medicating is seen as substance abuse. Plain and simple. There are tons of polticial angles but in the end its all because of an archaic paradigm doctors live in. It is slowluy shifting because of the increase in holistic medicine merging with us cultures previous ideas and social norms.

Dec. 19 2013 05:05 PM
sam winston from detroit michigan

Right on larry. The chronic these days really doesn't make me paranoid ever. If these doctors prefer society goes back to smoking dirty brick weed from mexico that gives you headaches they can blow me.

Dec. 19 2013 03:36 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

My kids tend not to listen to me, so I will tell them,"I have smoked marihuana in my life but not a lot. I mean nowhere the amount that the rest of my High School class smoked in the seventies. I was considered a square. The ones who smoked the most, are most successful. I got nothing to add to this conversation, but if you do smoke some weed, don't bogart the joint and where did you get the money for it. It's so expensive that you are going to have to start paying rent. Now, give me a hit, so I can determine how strong this weed is and watch to see if I become paranoid."

Dec. 19 2013 02:37 PM
sam winston from detroit michigan

The scientist who discovered the double helix structure thought of it while tripping LSD.

Dec. 19 2013 02:25 PM
Tom Cuddy from Austin, Tx

I hear that rates of marijuana use have increased for teens in the last few years. I was under the impression that the greatest percent of High School seniors who smoke regular peaked at 33% in 1979. That would be when Barack Obama AND ALL THE 49-51 year olds were in school. I see how much smoking in high school damaged the kids because obviously there are no people born in the early 60's in positions of power and influence, because of their early marijuana smoking. As far as the relative strength of today's marijuana, is a straw dog/canard. I could get very strong marijuana in the 1970's. So kids, do not let your parents lie to you. They probably smoked WAY more than you do. Most people 'age out' of enjoying marijuana and switch to qalcohol, which is much better at obliterating all stress ( and judgement, coordination...)

Dec. 19 2013 12:57 PM
Sam Winston from Detroit, Michigan

@carbenl you're clueless. have you ever smoked weed? there's a ceiling to how high you can get. stoners drive slower and more cautiously than normal drivers.

the THC is what gets you high, the plant material is what's bad for you. because it contains tar, etc. that is why the push for vaporizers is so strong right now. people want to be as healthy with their use as possible.

if you're worried about your employees who control trains crashing them stoned, drug test them all mighty employer.

if you're worried about kids playing sports stoned, don't be, they'll be too lazy and prefer relaxing in a bean bag chair.

if you're worried that it messes with your brain, don't because it's essentially 3 canniabinoids. 1 triggers hunger, 1 causes short term memory loss WHILE high and only when high, and the final canniabinoid has unknown health and healing benefits.

in this study we see evidence that marijuana is more effective than most nausea medications used by cancer patients. even Marinol, the legal pill form of THC that doctors can prescribe you.

"The best established medical use of smoked marijuana is as an anti-nauseant for cancer
chemotherapy. Marijuana's efficacy was demonstrated in studies by
half a dozen states, involving
hundreds of subjects. Most research has found smoked marijuana superior to oral THC (Marinol).
Many oncologists are currently recommending marijuana to their patients"

why are you cool with your doctor getting people hooked on opiates and amphetamines but against self medication of non-toxic?

you know when you drink alcohol it basically poisons you right? it floods the brain with toxins. the reaction between marijuana and the brain is completely and totally different.

for every study you can find that says marijuana causes depression or schizophrenia or whatever there's another study that proves it wrong or disputes. learn your facts before you mess with my freedom, it's quite offensive.

Dec. 19 2013 10:27 AM

We have taken is as a given that we won't enjoy our lives, but must medicate in order to do so. Why would you risk cutting oxygen to your brain, messing with hormones and metabolism. SO SO many are just lolling through the day, unable to think clearly, do well in school, and on and on. Encouraging THC at current strengths is just wrong. Ever see a kid try to play a sport on drugs? Navigate the trains during rush hour?

Dec. 19 2013 10:02 AM
Sam Winston from Detroit, Michigan

wow. misinformation is ramped in this country.

marijuana and driving:

dependency is bs because it's generally stopping the use of alcohol or tobacco:

the list goes on, the higher potency raises the costs and decreases the amount you can ingest. these aint reggies, the days of walking around with a coffee tin of herb is over, why? because we've made it cleaner and more pure over the years. ask willie nelson.

coffee is more addictive. caffeine. cigarettes are more addictive.

READ: for real information about marijuana.

Dec. 19 2013 09:47 AM

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