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4/17/2014 6:00:00 AM
Marijuana use by Mohave County teens increasing
Drinking, smoking decline
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Prevention Fair
The Arizona Youth Partnership will have a prevention fair from 3-5 p.m. April 19 to educate families and youth about substance use in general, with a focus on underage drinking and the risks involved in starting at an early age. The fair will take place at the Del Webb Wellness Center, 1719 E Beverly Ave. The free event will include information from area agencies, games, food and prizes.

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - While alcohol and cigarette use among teens has declined since 2008 in Mohave County, marijuana use is on the rise and state and local anti-drug leaders fear it is due to the drug's increased acceptance among adults for medicinal purposes.

An Arizona Youth Survey conducted by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission in Phoenix every two years shows that from 2008 to 2012, the use of marijuana in Mohave County has grown with each survey. Schools in all the state's 15 counties were part of the survey given to students in eighth, tenth and twelfth grades.

The use of prescription stimulants and ecstasy also has risen among local youth.

The decrease in alcohol and cigarette use is encouraging, said Leslie Bloom, director of, and has been a hard-fought battle throughout Arizona. But the victory is bittersweet because marijuana use has taken the place of alcohol. Since society is now calling marijuana medicine, youth inhibitions toward it are weakening for the first time in many years, said Bloom.

"Our great concern is that when something becomes more acceptable and accessible, it has a direct effect on teen attitudes towards it," said Bloom. "When society sends a 'yes' message like this, it impacts their decision on using the drug."

In Arizona, the average age of first-time drug use is 13 years old, said Bloom, and 90 percent of drug addictions start in the teen years. The 2012 AYS showed there are as many youth marijuana users in Arizona as there are youth cigarette users, and that 11.6 percent of teens in the state have obtained the drug from a medical marijuana cardholder.

Both Bloom and Trish Ford of Arizona Youth Partnership in Kingman said that input from parents, educators and other caregivers is vital in steering youth away from drugs. Arizona Youth Partnership is a nonprofit agency that tries to help rural youth and families choose healthier lifestyles.

"Some parents are aware of what today's youth are struggling with and others don't think it's really happening," said Ford. "We want to bring better awareness to the community so parents will become more responsible and talk to their teens. We just need to get more information out there."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Article comment by: Jay Fleming

I reviewed the 2012 Arizona Youth Survey for Mohave County. I see alcohol use is down amount teens, that's a good thing, alcohol kills.

I also see marijuana use was down in 8th graders, but up in older teens. What went wrong between 8th grade, and 9th grade? Did educators get caught lying about marijuana.

When educators give young kids miss information on marijuana, then their friends use marijuana, and they don't grow a third head, or get instantly addicted. Kids figure if they lied about marijuana, they may have lied about heroin.

Kids don't need to be using alcohol, or drugs, their brains aren't developed, and no one needs to drive impaired.

Tell kids the truth when you talk to them about drugs and alcohol. Its hard in a nation where every other TV commercial is telling you to buy this drug, or ask your don't about that drug.

Jay Fleming
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Posted: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Article comment by: Barney Kingman Fife

You're right John Heckory, we need to nip it in the BUD! We're going to have our hands full already having to deal with the cannabis zombies headed south from Colorado. We sure as heck don't need our own HOME GROWN to worry about.

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: Keith Grubb

Not a word from the naysayers in the comments about being glad teens using less alcohol & tobacco being great. My biggest question though is, how did Arizona get medical marijuana passed?

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: Yes it is time to wake up and face the truth

The dumbing down of America has been so successful that we as citizenry allowed ourselves to be convinced it was a good idea to make it illegal to begin with. It was all about who was making the $ and if Hemp were illegal folks who owned stock in Homestake could sell turpentine to folks @ Sherman Williams who used hemp oil in their paint. Then there was that US Gov. policy that 50% of all paper used was hemp paper. Thank you Mr. W. R. Hearst for starting the propaganda campaign that convinced folks we needed to be afraid of a plant god put on this earth for our use for far many more things than medical purposes. Are you so "dumb" you can't figure out when 1 cup of coffee is too much? Listen to your own body, not people who have a financial stake in whether or not something should be legal. Do you pass out after inhaling canabis? You probably have low blood pressure and shouldn't use it. Just use common sense and you'll be okay.
As far as those surveys in the schools go, I remember surveys when I was in HS. Most of the students looked at them like they were a big joke and answered with outragious responses.

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: John Heckory

This is what Saint Harry Anslinger had been saying. #pottoblame

For those who still think your pot is safe, we all will be laughing when you are deported out of this great nation. Don't blame me or any of those who support being against legalization for me know the truth. I believe and follow what Saint Harry was doing and now look what is going on. His great God loving work has now turn into this. Our babies are being destroyed all thanks to those who support pot.
Like I have said before we need to start a temperance movement and get this wiped out once and for all. We have to the power to change these laws and suffrage. Raise taxes and help law enforcement put all these dangerous pot heads where they belong. We need to be doing what Gov. Hickenlooper is doing to battle these criminals. Bring in more MRAPS, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M113 armored personnel carrier, and any others that will help law enforcement. We would never have had to come to this level of enforcement if you hippies and minorities had gone against Saint Harry fought so hard to get done. We taking back Merica and restoring it to what our founding fathers made for us.
Now of babies are being taken down right in front of us. Support raising more taxes and equipping our local police with the right technology

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: Kainen Forester

Marijuana is over-all safer & less of a burden on society than alcohol & cigarettes. I've smoked it since 15 & am very successfull now at 40. I pay my taxes on my 3-4X over median income & support the US, AZ & Mohave County. It's not for everyone & it does affect a growing brain especially if that person isn't too bright to begin with. Fact is though, that humans need their vices & they start to look for them in adolescence. The ignorant posts on here are comical...
...yes, years(5?) from now millions of people home-less or on the streets, openly consuming MJ will be societys problem. No citizen smart enough to keep a job, drive a car, use a restroom, utilities & services no longer. Everyone too high to use a computer or phone, birthrates dropping because humans forgot how to #%!@... oh the horr-or...lmao.

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: Rick Argiry

A study in The Journal of Neuroscience says even casual marijuana smokers showed significant abnormalities in two vital brain regions important in motivation and emotion.

Motivation or lack there of.....anyone out there notice that ? Emotion or lack there of....anyone out there notice that ?

Stoners that sit behind their keyboards day in and day out fantasizing about what they are going to do that never gets done......Hmmmmm!!!

Stoners that have no emotion and lack loving emotions.....Hmmmmmm!!!

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: Maxwell Gibbons

I am 19 and its ridiculous seeing how many teens and young adults use marijuana. So they are trying to make it legal so we can get tax money and help fund the state. They don't care about what the effects on everyone minds and lungs going to be because they only care about the money. My cousin owns and operates a "medical" marijuana shop in Butte, Montana. I had to work for him because he provided me a place to live. I could believe how they run these places, from my observation, its only about the money and not the patients. My cousin of age 28 smokes almost a bowl every 15 minutes. He spends all his money on stupid stuff and doesn't pay the water bills. So he would pee on the plants help water them. He uses chemicals to speed the growing process. The smoker and the non smoker that are for are not taking in the fact that its not the same plant back in the 60s. They have been genetically altered and made into flavors. From the years that my cousin and uncle been smoking it has caused serious brain trama and can't think right what so ever. The more they say its good the more will try it. It needs to stop before we are the most stupid county in the world. Its just like alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana it dangerous along with the others. Welcome to the POT LAND USA. not happing

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

The dumbing down of America

I've seen this dumbing down start in US public schools, colleges since 1970 when I was a student in a state college. But I guess the radical left isn't patient enough to just do that. So now it's time to legalize pot smoking for 20 somethings to speed up their dumbing down even more. Destroy from within. Glad I don't have too many years left on this planet to witness it play out to it's final conclusion.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Dennis Jablonski

There are many reasons why pot use had been against the law. Hope those in authority are saving all their precious tax revenues from selling it, they are surely gonna need 'em down the road to (try) to fix all the problems they will be creating! Thank God all us current seniors will be long gone when they (if they) realize what they have done. Another nail in the coffin of American society.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: CC DUBYA

Yeah, but ya see you can't justify buyin' that big MRAP vehilce to fight the war on drugs. Especially if ya can't blame the Medical Marijuana users for the rise in High School users. It's always the same thing the people screamin' bout stuff being sold to their kids should take a hint from Article comment by: Al DiCicco.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: get real

lets get it leagal

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: buster brown

do you get the feeling that our nation is being drugged on purpose? wake up and stay alert. this is a time in our history that requires sober observation.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

The National Journal of effects on the brain from use of marijuana isn't the first study done, it only verifies what past studies have shown.

The brain damage caused from use of marijuana is IRREVERSILE and that has always been a fact.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Well... Duh!

The scary thing is that, "For the first time, researchers at Northwestern University have analyzed the relationship between casual use of marijuana and brain changes – and found that young adults who used cannabis just once or twice a week showed significant abnormalities in two important brain structures."

We are raising a generation of young people that will end up being low wage earners and unable to support my Medicare and Soc. Security let alone their own Obamacare. But they won't care, they'll be too stoned!

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: No Brainer

Of course teen use is up, the "sick" people are allowed to buy way more then they can use. Who would think all those "sick" people in their 20's might sell some to kids....not or genius law makers.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Cannabis Advocate

Marijuana is given a Bad Rap Americans have been led to believe that marijuana is a dangerous & addictive drug. WRONG
Thank God Alcohol is replaced by Marijuana =Alcohol Deaths: FACT Your body can only process 1 unit of alcohol an hour Alcohol in the blood can stop the body from functioning It can: slow down your brain functions irritate the stomach causing vomiting & it stops gag reflex – you can choke on or inhale, your own vomit into your lungs. It affects the nerves that control your breathing & heartbeat, It will dehydrate you, which can cause permanent brain damage, lower the body’s temperature causing hypothermia lower your blood sugar levels causing seizures.

CDC does not even have a category for Deaths caused by the use of Marijuana. People die from alcohol overdoses. There has never been a fatal Marijuana overdose Legalize-Regulate-Tax=Control Research has consistently reported that marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol which can result in significant & potentially fatal physical withdrawal, Marijuana has NOT been found to produce any symptoms of physical withdrawal.

Alcohol: A major factor in violent crimes. Marijuana is Not. We have a right to choose. ADD Prescription Drug use to your Chart kids get those from parents too Promote Parent Responsibility

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Colum Wickerd

This is encouraging to me. Less drunk driving, less lung cancer, and more non-violent teens. People may see this as "bittersweet" but i see it as just "sweet." Marijuana was not always illegal people. Hemp was used for a very long time to make paper, rope, and even clothes. It was considered to be used as fuel, but as soon as the oil companies, and their investors, heard about it, there was suddenly all sorts of problems with it. In reality, it's a clean burning fuel, and the oil companies knew it. Anyway, at least teens are quitting cigarettes and alcohol (which are approved by our illustrious government so they can tax the heck out of it).

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

Try parenting, it works. Be an involved loving parent. Make them go to work and make money. Most jobs drug test. Overall, this looks like good news. Cigarettes and Alcohol although socially accepted by many fools, are far worse than Cannabis and are extremely physically addictive. Educate people and stop spreading fear and propaganda. Do a story on how Cannabis helps people.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Kainen Forester

So they ask the same same students every 2 years if they're using this or that...? From what I remember, most students try marijuana in the later high school years - not in 8th grade, so wouldn't the number naturally go up? Not to mention the total number of students asked has almost doubled in 4 years. You think the students moving in from other suburban areas just might have more exposure than others?
The case can be made that medical marijuana is being used more because it is more available but these numbers are not cause for alarm... I'd like to see all the surveys on subtance use combined, including the ones I took in the '90s on substance use... marijuana use trends tend to go up & down also...
I just love the 'everyone panic, our kids are consuming pot & drinking less!' syndrome.

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