Wednesday, December 15, 2010

HEALTH - Teen Drug Use 12/20120

"Report: Teen Drug Use Up, Binge Drinking Down" PBS Newshour Transcript 12/14/2010 (includes video)


GWEN IFILL (Newshour): Now: teens and drugs.

A new report out today from the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows teenage drug use is up, especially among eighth-graders, the primary culprits: marijuana, ecstasy, and prescription drugs. Teenagers are also now less likely to believe that marijuana use is dangerous.

At the same time, previously reported declines in cigarette smoking have stalled. There was some good news. The rate of binge drinking, consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row, is down.

Here to discuss the findings is Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Welcome, Mr. Kerlikowske.

GIL KERLIKOWSKE, director, U.S. Drug Policy: Thank you.

GWEN IFILL: Very bad numbers there.



GIL KERLIKOWSKE: It's almost a perfect storm.

It shows that eighth, 10th and 12th graders showed an increase in drug use. particularly troubling, the eighth graders showed this increase in marijuana use. But also troubling is that, across the board, they really perceive the risk or the harms of drugs, of marijuana, less. And I think that is a perfect bad storm.

GWEN IFILL: Is it correct to say that marijuana use has exceeded cigarette smoking among children of this age, teenagers?

GIL KERLIKOWSKE: Well, we're seeing that we have continued to show a decrease in the nicotine use by young people, but the marijuana use has really picked up, particularly in the last year.

There is a quote in this transcript that highlights a real issue...
And, of course, smoked marijuana is not medicine. It hasn't been through any of the FDA approvals.

This "medicalization of marijuana" issue could be settled IF the FDA did (funded) research on the medical properties (if any) of smoking marijuana. As far as I know there has not been such FDA research or the results would have been published and much quoted. I could be wrong of course.

The federal government has classed marijuana as a dangerous drug but refuses to provide any hard, decisive, evidence that it has no medical use. After all, morphine is a dangerous drug but legal for medical use.

By the way, I have never used marijuana, but I give a benefit of doubt to those who say it DOES have a medical use (especially doctors).

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