*The following is excerpted from an online article from USA Today.
U.S. college students today smoke weed at a higher rate than at any time in the past 35 years, surpassing daily cigarette smoking for the first time in 2014.
But students are into more than pot. The study also shows ecstasy and cocaine use are rising.
Those findings were revealed Tuesday in Monitoring the Future, an ongoing study from the Univ. of Michigan.
The national survey looked at the drug use of approximately 1,500 students enrolled full time at 2- and 4-year colleges.
“Daily or near-daily” marijuana use was reported by 5.9% of college students in 2014 — the highest rate since 1980, the first year that complete college data were available in the study.
That translates to one in every 17 college students who smoke marijuana at least 20 times each month.
“Most of what people hear today is what the benefits are,” Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study, tells USA Today College. “Young adults are seeing marijuana as less dangerous.”
The Univ. of Michigan data also show that the percent using marijuana once or more in the prior 30 days in which the study was conducted rose from 17% in 2006 to 21% in 2014. Use in the prior 12 months rose from 30% in 2006 to 34% in 2014.
Ecstasy (MDMA, or Molly), had somewhat of a comeback in use among college students from 2007 through 2012, with past 12-month use more than doubling from 2.2% in 2007 to 5.8% in 2012, before leveling, the study found. Previously, ecstasy had fallen from favor among college students.
Past-year use of cocaine showed a statistically significant increase from 2.7 % in 2013 to 4.4% in 2014.
Johnston says that this could be due in part to “generational forgetting” — or a younger generation not remembering, or not knowing about, any problematic issues associated with the drugs in the past.