Broadcast date: 9/14/2017
Many experts believe the increased legalization of marijuana in the U.S. has contributed to the growing belief that marijuana is harmless among youth. With this misperception, youth are using the drug at increased rates. For example, the 2016 VITAL SIGNS reports shows a major increase in marijuana consumption among San Luis Obispo County teens. It reported forty-one percent of eleventh graders used marijuana in the past 30 days, compared to just 26% in 2013. A 15% increase. Why is this such a concern? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that unlike adults, the teen brain is actively developing and often will not be fully developed until the mid 20s. Marijuana use during this period may harm the developing teen brain. Research shows that marijuana use can have permanent effects on brain function of the developing brain when use begins in adolescence, especially with regular or heavy use.