skip navigation

Text Only | SAMHSA News Home

SAMHSA News - May/June 2004, Volume 12, Number 3
 

Majority of Youth Obtain Marijuana from People They Know

two friendsHow do teenagers obtain marijuana?

They often get it from their friends or from family members or relatives, according to recent data from SAMHSA's 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), formerly the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

The survey, analyzed by gender and racial/ethnic groups for comparative purposes, asked youth age 12 to 17 to report on their use of marijuana during the prior year. The survey asked past-year marijuana users specifically to report on the last time they used the drug—how they obtained it, from whom, and where.

The survey shows that almost 4 million youth in this age group (16 percent) used marijuana at least once in the past year. Of those youth, more than 60 percent obtained their "most recently used" marijuana for free or shared someone else's marijuana, and about one-third purchased their marijuana. The majority received marijuana from a friend—regardless of whether they bought it, obtained it for free, or shared it (see chart).

Compared to youth who obtained marijuana for free or shared it, those who bought their marijuana were more likely to get it from someone they just met or did not know well. Youths who bought their marijuana were more likely to obtain it from relatives or family than youths who got it free or shared it.

Regardless of how these youth obtained their marijuana, the most common place where they got it was inside a home, apartment, or dorm. And youth who received marijuana for free or shared it were more likely than youth who bought it to obtain the drug in three locations (48 versus 35 percent). Youth who bought marijuana were more likely than youth who received it for free or shared it to have obtained it in a public building, outside in a public area, inside a school building, or outside on school property.

Females (72 percent) were more likely than males (52 percent) to obtain their marijuana for free or share it. On the other hand, males (41 percent) were more likely than females (22 percent) to pay for their marijuana.

The rate of past-year marijuana use was similar among young men and young women in this age group, but white youth were more likely to report using marijuana in the past year than Hispanic or black youth.

According to the data, blacks were more likely than whites to obtain marijuana outside in a public area and less likely than whites or Hispanics to receive it inside a home, apartment, or dorm, regardless of whether the marijuana was purchased.

The report showed that marijuana is often bought and sold in and around schools. Nearly 14 percent of youth who bought marijuana did so on school property (9 percent inside a school and 5 percent outside on school property).

For a copy of this report, How Youths Obtain Marijuana, contact SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345. Telephone: 1 (800) 729-6686 (English and Spanish) or 1 (800) 487-4889 (TDD). The report can also be downloaded from the SAMHSA Web site at www.oas.samhsa.gov. End of Article

« See Also—Previous Article

See Also Related Content—Chart »

See Also—Next Article »

Back to Top


Inside This Issue

Across Borders: Reaching Out to Iraq
  •  
  • Cover Page
  •  
  • Part 1
  •  
  • Part 2
    Related Content:
  •  
  • From the Administrator: Mental Health in Iraq

    SAMHSA Announces Funding Opportunities
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • More Information

    Manuals Guide Teen Marijuana Use Treatment
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • Cannabis Youth Treatment Series by Volume

    President's National Drug Control Strategy Includes Key Role for SAMHSA

    Majority of Youth Obtain Marijuana from People They Know
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • Chart

    SAMHSA Releases Guide for Clergy
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • Core Competencies for Clergy

    5 Million Parents Have Alcohol Problems
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • Chart

    Rules Proposed for Workplace Drug Testing

    SAMHSA Launches Two Major Efforts on Underage Drinking

    Kit Links Service Providers to Resources for Older Adults
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • What's in the Toolkit?

    Disaster Assistance Center Offers Resources for Service Providers

    Center Assists People with Substance Abuse and Child Welfare Issues
    Related Content:  
  •  
  • Conferences Set for July

    Recovery Month Celebrates 15th Year

    Corrections & Clarifications

    SAMHSA News

    SAMHSA News - May/June 2004, Volume 12, Number 3



    Go to SAMHSA Home Page

    This page was last updated on 28 February, 2003
    SAMHSA is An Agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
    Email Questions to info@samhsa.hhs.gov   Click for text version of site

    Privacy Statement  |  Site Disclaimer  |  Accessibility