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Posted: 6/5/2008 1:37:17 PM EDT
Article

Pot and Cigarettes Are Now Equally Popular (Among Teenagers)

Jacob Sullum | June 4, 2008, 6:31pm

The latest data from the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System indicate that the percentage of teenagers who smoke marijuana is essentially the same as the percentage who smoke cigarettes. In the 2007 survey, 19.7 percent percent of high school students reported smoking marijuana at least once in the previous month, while 20 percent said they'd smoked at least one cigarette. The Marijuana Policy Project notes that tobacco smoking is declining faster among teenagers than marijuana smoking:

   The cigarette use figure represents a sharp drop from the 2005 survey, when it was 23 percent. Marijuana use, at 20.2 percent in 2005, showed a much smaller decline....

   Another report released this week, the Fiscal Year 2007 Annual Synar Report on tobacco sales to youth, showed the 10th straight annual decline in the rate of illegal tobacco sales to minors. In 1997, 40.1 percent of retailers violated laws against tobacco sales to minors. In 2007 the rate had dropped to just 10.5 percent, the lowest ever.

   "Efforts to curb cigarette sales to teens have been wildly successful, and it's past time we applied those lessons to marijuana," said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. "Tobacco retailers can be fined or put out of business if they sell to kids, but prohibition guarantees that we have zero control over marijuana dealers. Foolish policies have guaranteed that the marijuana industry is completely unregulated."

This is true enough, and I've often made a similar argument. But honest opponents of prohibition have to admit that leakage from the adult market for any legal intoxicant is inevitable. Note that the rate for past-month alcohol consumption in the same survey was 45 percent, making it more than twice as common among teenagers as pot smoking. (That's up from 43 percent in 2005 but the same as in 2003.) To project the impact that repealing prohibition would have on underage pot smoking, you need to weigh the effect of regulation against the effect of easier, safer, and cheaper availability to adults.

Then there's the question of how much weight should be attached to the risk of increased consumption by minors. To me, underage cigarette smoking is more troubling (legal issues aside) than underage drinking or pot smoking, because it is much more likely to result in a long-term habit that has serious health consequences. Others, focusing on the immediate psychoactive effects and the associated risk of reckless behavior or academic disruption, may worry more about alcohol and pot.

I am not conceding, by the way, that a utilitarian analysis like this one is the right way to find the ideal drug policy. If adults have a fundamental right to control their bodies and the chemicals that go into them, the possibility that some may deliberately or accidentally share those chemicals with minors does not justify violating that right. But most Americans do not accept that premise, so predictions about how repealing prohibition would affect The Children are unavoidable.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:41:22 PM EDT
Good article, thanks.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:43:05 PM EDT
Just goes to prove that 20% of society are idiots.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:51:49 PM EDT

Quoted:
Just goes to prove that 20% of society are idiots.


Ah...

But which 20%?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:54:00 PM EDT
The 20% who look like pot heads.

Usually the people that smoke cigarettes in high school are the ones smoking pot to.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 1:59:24 PM EDT

Quoted:
Just goes to prove that 20% of society are idiots.


I personally don't smoke, but I know more than one person making 6 figures that indulges, and I don't mean tobacco.



Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:01:33 PM EDT
Good,  little easier to quit smoking pot.  I've seen people almost murder one another for a cig.  Knowing people who both smoke pot and cigs you can definately tell when someone has not had their cigarette break.  If the pot head runs out of pot he can wait a day or two or a week,  try that with a cigarette smoker and you have a nightmare on your hands.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:02:26 PM EDT
at least the kids are willing to tell the truth, unlike the majority of the population
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:02:54 PM EDT
I'm sure some more Truth, and Anti-Drug commercials will make this problem go away.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:03:03 PM EDT
Teens tend to be stupid (on both)... this is news?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:03:31 PM EDT
Legalize pot man!
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:05:26 PM EDT

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:06:46 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)



Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:07:52 PM EDT

Quoted:
The 20% who look like pot heads.

Usually the people that smoke cigarettes in high school are the ones smoking pot to.


As one of the younger members of this board I can testify that this is an outright fallacy, at least in Texas. It's the hippie anti-tobacco Nazis who smoke joints, ironically.

It's the rednecks, military types and bad boys among the young crowd who still use tobacco these days, mostly as a cultural thing.



I've never used either... But I have some respect for tobacco users... About half of them are in my crowd. On the other hand the pot headed hippies can lick my jackboots.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:09:14 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


Fuck that.  Abolish SS.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:09:21 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


That the whole problem, if that happens it will be sold illegally again to dodge the taxes.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:09:27 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


So you're going to tax people who waste their lives and waste the tax money on a program that wastes our nations future?

Brillant, man... Got any oreo's on you, man?
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:09:38 PM EDT
who cares.  teenagers smoke pot.  lots of people smoke pot (i dont).  its a personal decision and i really have bigger things to worry about.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:11:01 PM EDT

Quoted:
Just goes to prove that 20% of society are idiots.


and that 20% gets around a lot then!
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:11:33 PM EDT

Quoted:
who cares.  teenagers smoke pot.  lots of people smoke pot (i dont).  its a personal decision and i really have bigger things to worry about.


While I fall on the "it should be illegal" side of the fence on this issue, I have to agree... I really just don't give a fuck about this issue anymore... There are a dozen things that are outright going to kill our nation in the next few years if we don't deal with them right fucking now, and pot isn't one of them.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:14:22 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


So you're going to tax people who waste their lives and waste the tax money on a program that wastes our nations future?

Brillant, man... Got any oreo's on you, man?


WHAT??? Its funny how people seem to think that dirty broke hippies with no job and no future are the only people who smoke pot. I would say the majority of people who smoke pot make dam good money and live great lives and contribute a ton to their community...

and no I dont, I had the munchies and ate them all
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:16:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:18:06 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


So you're going to tax people who waste their lives and waste the tax money on a program that wastes our nations future?

Brillant, man... Got any oreo's on you, man?


WHAT??? Its funny how people seem to think that dirty broke hippies with no job and no future are the only people who smoke pot. I would say the majority of people who smoke pot make dam good money and live great lives and contribute a ton to their community...

and no I dont, I had the munchies and ate them all


Ignore the personal ribbing: The fact remains that if MJ was legalized and taxed (which I would dislike, but could live with), spending the revenue on SS is equal to pushing the flusher on the American continent... SS will destroy us if not dealt with... And pouring more money on it is like pouring gasoline on a fire.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:20:47 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS build more advanced military hardware. :)


That way a bunch of anti-war hippies will STFU when they know their primo stash just helped pay for a new F22.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:22:42 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


So you're going to tax people who waste their lives and waste the tax money on a program that wastes our nations future?

Brillant, man... Got any oreo's on you, man?


WHAT??? Its funny how people seem to think that dirty broke hippies with no job and no future are the only people who smoke pot. I would say the majority of people who smoke pot make dam good money and live great lives and contribute a ton to their community...

and no I dont, I had the munchies and ate them all


Ignore the personal ribbing: The fact remains that if MJ was legalized and taxed (which I would dislike, but could live with), spending the revenue on SS is equal to pushing the flusher on the American continent... SS will destroy us if not dealt with... And pouring more money on it is like pouring gasoline on a fire.


Very true, bad analogy on my part. Just saying that there is a lot of potential and very little consequence for legalizing it.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:23:22 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS build more advanced military hardware. :)


That way a bunch of anti-war hippies will STFU when they know their primo stash just helped pay for a new F22.


You know... I could actually go for that... Hell right now I'm willing to legalize pretty much anything were the revenue marked to go directly to the DoDs discretionary budget.

Too bad it'd never actually happen... Congress needs that money for social programs... Which will fail and take our country down with them, all while our defenses rot at the gates.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:24:07 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Just goes to prove that 20% of society are idiots.


Ah...

But which 20%?


The other 79%
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:28:08 PM EDT

Quoted:
The 20% who look like pot heads.

Usually the people that smoke cigarettes in high school are the ones smoking pot to.


ah...no.
In my experience the non-smokers like their weed.
I know plenty of folks smoking ganja, and most do not smoke cigarettes.

Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:41:23 PM EDT
I'd be willing to bet most of the people who post about how stupid pot users are, are the same people trying to convince us that water is a fuel.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:41:29 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


Legal is the absense of regulation. You really want to tax and regulate pot like alcohol & tobacco? Will we create a new federal LE agency to enforce marijuana taxation and sales regulations? Or will we add that to the BATF-E mission?

Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:43:10 PM EDT

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


Fuck that.  Cash in what little remains in the SS system and send everyone a dimebag stapled to a 401k investing brochure.
Link Posted: 6/5/2008 2:46:32 PM EDT

Quoted:
I'd be willing to bet most of the people who post about how stupid pot users are, are the same people trying to convince us that water is a fuel.


Cross reference my posts and you'll find your argument fallacious.


Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


Legal is the absense of regulation. You really want to tax and regulate pot like alcohol & tobacco? Will we create a new federal LE agency to enforce marijuana taxation and sales regulations? Or will we add that to the BATF-E mission?



As much as I dislike the idea of decriminalizing marijuana... I'm almost going to say: Maybe it'll be a shiny new trinket to distract our friends at the BATFE.


Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Legalize pot man!


Agreed and tax it then use the taxes to build back up SS :)


Fuck that.  Cash in what little remains in the SS system and send everyone a dimebag stapled to a 401k investing brochure.


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