The survey, by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, found that close to 1 in 10 teens smoke pot at least 20 times or more a month. This percentage of heavy marijuana usage is up 80 percent among U.S. teens since 2008.
"These findings are deeply disturbing as the increases we're seeing in heavy, regular marijuana use among high school students can spell real trouble for these teens later on," said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org.
While marijuana usage is up, the survey showed that prescription medication and hard drug usage – cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. – has stabilized in recent years. Still, the percentages show that heavy marijuana users (over 20 times a month) are 30 times more likely to use cocaine/crack, 20 times more likely to use Ecstasy and 15 times more likely to abuse prescription pain relievers.
The group points to marijuana use becoming normalized in the eyes of teens, which places a larger burden on parents to warn their children of the risks of drug and alcohol abuse.