OK, NOT an endorsement for kids smoking dope, but an interesting study out of Canada. I think this study speaks more toward the attitudes toward dope and tobacco than the actual health effects of dope and tobacco.
According to this study, kids who just smoke pot have better grades and do better academically than kids who just smoke cigarettes. This study was done over the course of 30 years and to me the really interesting information that came out of it is that far fewer kids smoke cigarettes today than 30 years ago, while more kids smoke pot.
According to the article:
… and those that do (smoke cigarettes) make up a very “marginalized, vulnerable” population, says lead study author Michael Chaiton, assistant professor in epidemiology and public health policy.
This tells me that the most ostracised, least engaged kids, probably kids that will end up as dropouts, are the ones smoking cigarettes, while a lot of all-around average kids are smoking pot now, because even among kids, smoking is no longer seen as cool.
The article states this as much:
“Now there is a distinction between marijuana use and co-use with other substances, and it’s an indication of the changing social norms. So it’s not an absolute that they do better; it’s that social norms have changed and the population of people who use marijuana are more like the general population,” said Chaiton.
Another interesting stat — 92 percent of tobacco smokers also smoke dope, while only 25 percent of pot smokers also smoke tobacco. So, it’s really not an “either or” situation. Most of those cigarette smokers are also smoking pot. It has to do with attitudes toward cigarettes and pot … and what kind of kids are smoking cigarettes or pot in light of those attitudes.
Again, I’m not a fan of kids smoking dope, but they are going to smoke pot. Pot is becoming more and more socially acceptable for adults to the point where two states have legalised it, and I predict it will be legal in several other states within the next two or three years — and when it becomes more socially acceptable for adults to use it, it’s pretty tough to tell kids “none for you.” The attitudes toward pot are pretty similar to the attitudes toward beer.
Now, the study doesn’t say much about how kids smoke pot do academically versus kids who don’t use any drugs (one of the commenters on the article pointed this out.) The article contains this single sentence:
Marijuana users don’t outperform non-users, Chaiton says.
It would be nice to see more information than that in the study.