Why A Teen’s Reasons For Using Marijuana Matter

COLORADO:  Marijuana may have a reputation as a “gateway” to other drugs, but new research shows that the reason a teenager uses marijuana in the first place is an important factor in whether that person also uses other drugs.

And it turns out that when a teen’s reason for smoking pot is “to experiment,” he or she is less likely to use other drugs.

Researchers analyzed survey results from more than 6,000 high school seniors in the United States who all said they had used marijuana in the past year. The surveys also asked students questions about whether they used alcohol, as well as drugs such as crack, heroin, powder cocaine and hallucinogens.

The researchers found that the teens who said they used marijuana to experiment were less likely to say theyhad used any other drugs, compared with teens who used marijuana for other reasons, such as out of boredom or to increase the effects of other drugs.