Sunday September 15, 2019

U.S. College Students Using Marijuana at Highest Rates in 35 Years

About 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of pot at least once in the past year, up from 38%

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FILE - Marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, California, Aug. 15, 2019. Federal health officials are issuing a national warning against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women, as more states legalize some forms of the drug's use. VOA

U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest rates in 35 years, according to a report released Thursday.

About 43% of full-time college students said they used some form of pot at least once in the past year, up from 38%, a University of Michigan survey found. About 25% said they did so in the previous month, up from 21%.

The latest figures are the highest levels seen in the annual survey since 1983.

About 6% of college students said they used marijuana 20 or more times in the past month. For adults the same age who weren’t enrolled in college, the figure was 11%.

Marijuana, US, College
U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest rates in 35 years, according to a report released Thursday. LifetimeStock

“It’s the frequent use we’re most worried about” because it’s linked to poor academic performance and can be detrimental to mental health, said John Schulenberg, one of the Michigan researchers.

College-age adults are the biggest users of marijuana than any other age group. Use among high school students has been flat for a few years.

The 2018 findings are based on responses from about 1,400 adults age 19 to 22, including 900 who were full-time college students and about 500 who were not.

The survey only has comparable data on college kids going back to 1980. So it doesn’t say how common marijuana use was in the 1960’s and 1970’s — a time when marijuana use on college campuses was considered widespread.

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Marijuana use has been rising in college-age kids for more than a decade. Schulenberg said it seems to be tied to views about risk — in the early 1990s, about three-quarters of young adults said pot was risky. But last year it was down to 22%.

The survey also found about 11% of college students said they vaped marijuana in the previous month — more than double the figure in the 2017 survey. (VOA)

Next Story

Why Young Americans Are Not Moving A Lot Since The Great Recession

Young American adults are staying put more since the Great Recession, but when they do move, they’re not going to the same places as they did before the economic downturn

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Frey, who keeps expecting millennial migration rates to pick up, is disappointed with the numbers. Wikimedia Commons

Young Americans are staying put more since the Great Recession, but when they do move, they’re not going to the same places as they did before the economic downturn of 2007-2009.

In the three years leading up to the recession, more Americans in their 20s and 30s headed to Riverside (California), Phoenix, Atlanta, Houston and Charlotte (North Carolina), according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

“Those were more kind of ‘We’re coming there to buy a house and get a job and make things go,’” says demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution.

Things changed during the recession and in the years that followed.

From 2007 to 2012, America’s metro areas that gained the most millennials were Denver, Houston, Washington, D.C.; Austin (Texas) and Seattle. From 2012 to 2017, the metropolitan areas with the highest net millennial migration were Houston, Denver, Dallas, Seattle and Austin.

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Where US millennials are moving. VOA

“Young people may not be finding the job that they want and they’re not be able to buy a home that they’d like to buy,” Frey says. “At least they want to be in a place maybe where the action is for younger people, the kind with a young person’s amenities, or what you might call places with a cool factor.”

Overall, U.S. millennials are moving at the lowest rate since at least 1996. In 2017, their migration rate was 17%, well below the pre-recession number of almost 23%.

Frey, who keeps expecting millennial migration rates to pick up, is disappointed with the numbers.

“Migration is good for the economy in the sense that people are more able to adapt to changing economic circumstances… if they move to places where jobs are being created,” Frey says.

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“Especially if it’s a movement to purchase a home and to start investing in their future in terms of wealth creation and so forth. I think that’s important so that they’re not stuck in a way that makes them feel like they’re being left behind.”

Frey sees signs that millennials are starting to move to the suburbs and smaller metropolitan areas, as well as to cities located in the interior part of the United States rather than on either the East or West Coast.

“I’m suggesting that when we look at the next round of migration rates, when they come out, we’re going to see a little bit more movement to those kind of more, you know, economically viable and prosperous areas rather than to the cooler areas,” he says. (VOA)