Marijuana use continues to become legal in more places, but that doesn’t mean the drug’s popularity among adolescents is growing, a new study finds.
Although disapproval of marijuana use has decreased dramatically among young adults — suggesting that this age group is viewing the drug less negatively — that’s not the case for younger adolescents, according to the study.
The researchers found that disapproval of marijuana use has actually increased among adolescents ages 12 to 14. In 2013, 79 percent of kids in this age group said they strongly disapproved of people using marijuana, up from 74 percent who said the same in 2002.
The finding “was surprising,” given the growing legalization of the drug, said Christopher Salas-Wright, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Texas at Austin and the lead researcher on the study, published Sept. 16 in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.