College students' daily marijuana use at all-time high

For the first time, rates surpass cigarette smoking

Habitual marijuana usage is higher than ever on college campuses, according to an annual national survey released last week.

Researchers from University of Michigan found that 5.9% of college students smoke marijuana daily or near-daily, up from 3.5% in 2007. That's the highest rate since 1980, the first year for which data was available.

That followed another trend: only 35% of high-school graduates reported thinking that pot is dangerous—a shift down from 55% who said the same in 2006.

They survey asked approximately 1,500 full-time students at two- and four-year institutions about their drug use.

"Most of what people hear today is what the benefits are," Lloyd Johnston, the principal investigator of the study, told USA Today College. "Young adults are seeing marijuana as less dangerous."

Marijuana smoking even surpassed cigarette smoking rates, according to the survey. Just 5% of college students said they smoked cigarettes daily, down from 19% in 1999. Rates of occasional smokers—those who smoked at least one cigarette in the last 30 days—fell too, from 31% in 1999 to 13% in 2014.

Officials fight to bring marijuana to campus

However, those declines were tempered by alternate forms of tobacco use, such as e-cigarettes and hookah, according to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (Eunjung Cha, "To Your Health," Washington Post, 9/2; Kesling, Wall Street Journal, 9/1; Diehl/Schramm, USA Today College, 9/1).

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