Arizona Youth Using Less Hard Drugs, More Marijuana

According to a recent Arizona Youth Survey, young Arizonans are using more marijuana and marijuana alternatives, while using fewer hard drugs.

15.7 percent of Arizona youth used marijuana in the last 30 days, the survey found. The results also showed that approximately 12 percent of youth reported smoking or vaping marijuana concentrates in the same time period. 

Over 24 percent of those that have used the drug reported that they obtained it from someone with a medical marijuana card and 10 percent purchased it from a local dispensary.

“The good news is less kids are abusing prescription drugs, inhalants, and meth,” Andrew Lefevre, the director of the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, said. “However, more kids are abusing marijuana and the alternatives that come along with it. We are seeing a dangerous growing trend in the number of students smoking marijuana and using marijuana concentrates.”

Bearing the appearance of honey or butter, marijuana concentrates include a highly potent mass of THC, cannabis’ principal psychoactive constituent. Up to four times stronger than regular marijuana, concentrate THC levels can range from 40 to 80 percent. 

“Data from the past three surveys makes it abundantly clear that more youth are reporting regular use of marijuana across all grade levels,” Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement. “Even more troubling is obvious and intentional misuse of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act that is allowing 25 percent of students to get their marijuana from someone with a medical marijuana card and 10 percent to buy it directly from an Arizona dispensary.”

The survey was conducted this past spring in each of Arizona’s 15 counties and was taken by 48,708 eighth, 10th and 12th graders.