Recent study highlights California teens’ misconceptions about marijuana


Thanks to years of public health education, cigarette smoking is on the decline for teens. However, marijuana use hasn’t changed, with around 20 percent of 12th graders reporting they’ve recently smoked marijuana.

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, professor of adolescent medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, wanted to understand the story behind the numbers. Recently, Halpern-Felsher and her team surveyed 786 students from 10 large high schools across California about their beliefs and use of marijuana. The findings revealed that teens don’t understand the risks of marijuana use and are more likely to smoke it if they have seen marijuana ads. These findings are even more concerning as California voters gave a green light to legalization of recreational marijuana in the recent election.

Other highlights:

  • Teens in the study were more likely to use marijuana and and blunts than cigarettes
  • Those who reported that their friends used marijuana were 27 percent more likely to use marijuana themselves
  • Marijuana and blunts were seen as less addictive than cigarettes, even though the tobacco leaves in which a blunt is rolled contain nicotine and many other harmful chemicals
  • More than half of the teens in the study reported seeing ads for the benefits of marijuana, and exposure to such ads was associated with a 6 percent greater chance of using marijuana.


    Leave a Reply

    • (will not be published)