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Why Do Young People Use Marijuana?


Updated May 16, 2014

Question: Why Do Young People Use Marijuana?
Answer: Peer pressure is probably the most common reason that children and younger teens begin smoking marijuana. That peer group, however, is not limited to their friends at school, but also to members of their own families.

When they see older members of their family using marijuana, that can be a big influence.

Teens may also think it's "cool" to use marijuana because they hear songs about it and see it on television or in movies. Other teens may turn to marijuana use as an escape from their problems at home, school or socially.

Some teens may feel they need marijuana and other drugs to help them escape from problems at home, at school, or with friends.

As medical marijuana has become legal in more states and recreational marijuana use has been legalized in some states, more teens are deciding to smoke weed because fewer of them believe it is harmful, compared to a few years ago.

Just because its use is legal for adults to use in some states, doesn't mean it's safe for children and teens to use. No states have legalized marijuana for children.

And just because it's publicized on t-shirts and ball caps and it's a popular subject in songs, doesn't mean everyone is smoking marijuana. The majority of teens do not smoke weed.

Has smoking marijuana become a problem for you?
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Back to: Marijuana FAQ for Teens


National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Marijuana." DrugFacts Updated January 2014

National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Want to Know More?- Some FAQs about Marijuana." Marijuana: Facts for Teens Updated October 2013

National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Marijuana." Research Report Series Updated July 2012

The Partnership at DrugFree.org. "Marijuana." Drug Guide. Accessed April 2014.

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