CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — As New Hampshire lawmakers consider a bill that would legalize up to an ounce of marijuana for adults, the state Health Department is drawing attention to research showing high marijuana use among 12-to-17-year-olds.
The information based on the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that about one in 10 adolescents in New Hampshire report regular use of marijuana, the ninth highest in the country.
“This is a disturbing finding,” said Joe Harding, director of the department’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services. “It is an alarming rate and is well above the U.S. average of 7.6 percent of 12-10-17-year-olds nationally reporting marijuana use. This underscores the need for us to collaborate with not only our partners in the field, but also businesses, law enforcement, the medical field, and schools to implement proven strategies to prevent youth use of marijuana.”
The state rate for 18-to-25-year-olds using marijuana is the fifth highest in the country.
The study says the percentage of those who perceived great risk in using marijuana at least once a month is lower than national and regional averages.
It also says in 2012, of 12-to-17-year-olds who entered state-funded treatment facilities in the state, 80 percent sought treatment for marijuana dependence.