I recently read some stats from Monitoring the Future (MTF), which was released in 2010. MTF is an ongoing study that has been around since 1975. This most recent study surveyed 46,500 students from grades 8, 10, and 12. Further info is on www.monitoringthefuture.org.

The results were pretty interesting. Of course marijuana use has increased among teens, but I am seeing some light in this. Here’s why.

For the first time since 1981, more 12 graders are smoking marijuana than cigarettes in the past month. (That’s more than 1 out of every 5 high school seniors).

Now I’m not condoning the use of marijuana, espeically in high school, but I know for a fact that marijuana has signifiantly less long-term side effects than cigarettes. Here’s just a few professional studies and scholarly journals to prove it ( in case you don’t believe me).

Researchers from UC San Francisco and the University of Alabama compared 20-year smokers to 20-year tokers and discovered that "moderate" marijuana users suffered little loss of air flow rate or lung volume (Romero 2011).

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629600000679

http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/279/7/511.short

http://www.bmj.com/content/280/6219/972.abstract

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.86.2.253

http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/26/1/1/

http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/medical_marijuana_review.html

http://www.theeffectsofweed.net/positive-effects-of-weed/

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1808

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/infofacts/marijuana

http://norml.org/library/health-reports/item/norml-s-marijuana-health-mythology

http://teens.drugabuse.gov/facts/facts_mj1.php

http://www.drugandalcoholrehab.net/addiction/marijuana_addiction.htm

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/dope/body/effects.html

http://www.adolescent-substance-abuse.com/substance-abuse/nicotines-effect-on-developing-teen-brains.htm

http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/tobacco/smoking.html

http://www.impacteen.org/generalarea_PDFs/Eff-ttePrices.pdf

http://www.iahsaa.org/Sports_Medicine_Wellness/Miscellaneous/Cigarettes_&_Teens.pdf

http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2007/nov/29/marijuana_better_your_lungs_toba

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/18959/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071105164453.htm

Now that that’s cleared up, I am humbled by the affects that marijuana has had on the tobacco industry. It is debated that marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs, but when weighed between cigarettes I really don’t think the chances of death are as high.

Of course there is negativity associated with the results of this research. All I’m saying is at least we are improving.

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