Breana Noble, The Detroit News Sept. 5, 2018
Marijuana use among college-age people is at the highest level in three decades and fewer think using it is harmful, according to researchers at the University of Michigan.
Months before Michigan voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the annual study found marijuana use among the nation's 19-to-22-year-olds has increased gradually over the past decade as marijuana becomes more easily accessible and young people view the drug as less risky.
Researchers also found that youths who do not attend college are more likely to use marijuana. The study also surveyed other drug use among the age group and found non-medical use of prescription narcotic drugs was at its lowest since the late 1990s.
The federal National Institute on Drug Abuse paid for the survey, Monitoring the Future Panel Study.
"In this country, laws are changing, attitudes are changing, people are not perceiving use, even regular use, as dangerous as they used to," said John Schulenberg, the study's principal investigator and a psychology professor at the university.
"And this could be the problem. On this daily use, the scientific evidence is pretty clear that this gets in the way of things, and it can be associated with, if not contributing to, a decline in mental health.
"If one is involved in heavy use, and they continue with that," Schulenberg said, "then their health and wellness and happiness is probably not as high as those who do not use or do not continue to use."