A survey of New York college students indicates that these young adults generally see marijuana as less harmful than alcohol, and that they overwhelmingly support its legalization.
Conducted by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which operates two New York City facilities, the survey found that more than three-quarters of respondents (77%) believe marijuana should be legalized. However, more than half also said that permitting recreational use of the drug would make it more accessible to minors. The findings led Barbara Kistenmacher, director of Hazelden Betty Ford's New York treatment programs, to conclude, “The nationwide movement to legalize marijuana is clearly influencing the perceptions that college students here in New York have about the drug.”
The survey also found that 28% of the New York students used marijuana at least weekly (39% reported occasional use). More than half of the surveyed students cited not getting a hangover as the greatest “advantage” of using the drug.
Have you seen the attitudes of youths and young adults in your community change with regard to marijuana and its effects? Do you see the push toward medical marijuana and/or legalization for recreational purposes as the primary driver of any shifts in young people's perception? We're interested in your observations about young people and marijuana.