39% of college students have used marijuana in the past 12 months, the highest figure in the last three decades, according to a study released today by the University of Michigan.
The study, based on data collected in 2016, indicates that 39% of full-time students aged 19-22 years used cannabis at least once during the year, while 22% of them said to have consumed it in the previous 30 days.
These percentages are the highest since 1987, when the figures were 50% and 33%, respectively.
Likewise, they represent the consolidation of a growing trend registered since 2006, when 30% of university students said they had consumed the substance during the last twelve months and 17% said they had done so during the last month.
“These continued increases in marijuana use, particularly strong consumption among college students in the nation, deserve attention from university staff as well as from students and their parents,” said John Schulenberg, chief Observation of the Future study.
According to the document, there are no notable differences in marijuana use based on gender.
However, there is a gap between the use of the drug on a daily basis, considered as its consumption in at least twenty of the last thirty days, between university males and non-students.
While 6.6% of male students admitted to using marijuana on a daily basis, this figure is close to doubling among young people who do not study, among which the target is 12.8%.
The study highlights that this increase in cannabis use does not stem from a trend in school, since the data recorded among schoolchildren has remained stable in recent times.
“Marijuana use has remained steady in recent years among seniors in the nation’s high schools, so this increase among college students suggests that it has something to do with college and the experiences of adulthood, “Schulenberg said in a statement.
Researchers at the University of Michigan attribute the current growing trend to a reduction in the perception of the drug as a health risk.