(RNN) – Today’s college students are smoking pot at rates not seen in three decades.
These higher rates come at a time fewer think using it is harmful to them and more states are legalizing its use.
The information appears in a University of Michigan study, “Monitoring the Future,” that surveyed marijuana use in 2017.
The study says 38 percent of full-time college students (ages 19-22) reported using marijuana at least once in the past 12 months. The number was 21 percent for the previous 30 days. The numbers peaked in 2016 but were steady in 2017.
The study also shows heavy pot use among youth not in college is on the rise.
The study found that high school graduates who did not enroll full-time in college used marijuana at the highest levels since the 1980s.
Some 41 percent had used pot in the last year and 28 percent reported using the drug in the previous 30 days.
“We’re at a point now where one in eight non-college youths are using marijuana on a daily, or near daily, basis,” study co-author John Schulenberg told Michigan Radio.
“So, while people’s attitudes about marijuana have certainly changed in the last three or four decades, it can still be harmful in heavy use, especially while youths’ brains are still developing.”
The study says there are several reasons smoking pot remains popular, but one in particular.
“Specifically, the proportions seeing great risk in using drugs began to decline, as did the proportions saying they disapproved of use,” the study says.
In the study, 27 percent of college-aged people saw regular use of marijuana as carrying great risk of harm, the lowest level since 1980.
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