Success in the Media

Early Marijuana Use Leads to Later Drug Abuse

Crime in America.Net

Well, just in time for the California vote to legalize marijuana, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) telling us that if you started using marijuana at a young age you are six times more likely to use drugs in the past year.

Before the pro-marijuana crowd rushes in with their usual claims that the drug is harmless (which is why they are going to lose the vote in California in large numbers) it’s important to note that virtually all measures of substance abuse and separate studies on criminality say the same thing—early onset of anything greatly increases the percentages of continued activity in later years.

That’s why early detection of drug or violent behavior needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Possibly the most successful long-term intervention is sending social workers into the homes of youth exhibiting disruptive behavior so the behavior can be addressed as a family, see


 Adults who first started using marijuana at or before the age of 14 are most likely to have abused or been dependent on illicit drugs in the past year, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Adults who first used marijuana at age 14 or younger were six times more likely to meet the criteria for past year illicit drug abuse or dependence than those who first used marijuana when they were 18 or older (12.6% vs. 2.1%) and almost twice as likely as those who started between the ages of 15 and 17 (12.6% vs. 6.6%).

Similar results have been found for early alcohol use (see CESAR FAX, Volume 19, Issue 40) and the early non-medical use of prescription drugs (see CESAR FAX, Volume 17, Issue 8).




  1. So, why don’t we legalize marijuana so we can then regulate it. These days it is far easier for a minor to obtain marijuana than it is for alcohol. Why? Because it is regulated. No drug dealer is going to ask for identification, so the market is open to anybody with money.
    And what do you honestly know about marijuana? I feel I see a lot of negative posts on the internet about the plant, but they don’t seem to have any actual evidence to back it up. If you’re telling me it’s bad, do you think you could add WHY it’s bad? maybe, WHAT makes it bad? You may find yourself drawing a blank. Or a lie.

  2. Great article. Armed with this new information we can now create cannabis laws similar to alcohol laws; minimum age, not to be used prior to driving or operating heavy machinery, etc.

    Either that or we can classify alcohol as a Schedule 1 drug.

    • Hi. Thanks for writing. You may be kidding, but there is discussion on the web regarding stratifying marijuana laws based on age and other factors.
      Best, Adam.


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