The Friday Night Crew youth group has learned from Project SAM, or Smart Approaches to Marijuana, that the most recent “Monitoring the Future Study” shows 60 percent of high school seniors now perceive marijuana as “not harmful.” Additionally, more than one-third of 12th graders living in medical marijuana states obtain marijuana from someone else’s medical recommendation.
The FNC hosted project SAM’s co-founder, Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy and director, Dr. Kevin Sabet, last March, where they spoke to community leaders about the impacts of de-criminalization. The FNC has remained active participants and works closely with Project SAM Hawaii.
“A new marijuana industry is forming in front of our eyes, and make no mistake about it: they are delighted their customers — today’s youth — consider their product safe,” said Kennedy. “The rise of legalization and medical marijuana has sent a message to young people that marijuana use is harmless and non-addictive, contrary to science supported by the American Medical Association, National Institutes of Health, and every other major scientific body that has examined the issue.”
Monitoring the Future is an ongoing research project of the University of Michigan, which began in 1975. Comparison across the years demonstrates changes in viewpoints, attitudes, and experiences of young people over the past 36 years with regard to drug use and views about drugs, delinquency and victimization, changing roles for women, confidence in social institutions, concerns about energy and ecology, and social and ethical attitudes. For more information, visit www.monitoringthefuture.org.
“Let these numbers be a wakeup call to parents and decision-makers alike,” Sabet. “There is no way to properly ‘regulate’ marijuana without allowing an entire industry to encourage use at a young age, to cast doubt on the science, and to make their products attractive — just like Big Tobacco did for 50 years. Today’s Big Marijuana is no different.”