The use of marijuana or other illicit drugs at school may contribute to a harmful environment for students, teachers, and administrators. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey asked students in grades 9-12 whether they had used marijuana at all in the past 30 days (referred to as “anywhere” in this report) and whether they had used marijuana on school property. In 2003, 22 percent of students in grades 9-12 reported using marijuana anywhere during the last 30 days, and 6 percent reported using marijuana on school property (table 16.1). The percentage of students who reported using marijuana on school property increased from 6 percent in 1993 to 9 percent in 1995, and then declined to 6 percent in 2003. The percentage of students who reported using marijuana anywhere also increased between 1993 and 1995 (from 18 to 25 percent), and in 1995, 1997, and 1999, roughly one-quarter of students reported using marijuana anywhere (between 25 and 27 percent). By 2003, however, the percentage of students who reported using marijuana anywhere had declined to 22 percent.
Both students' sex and grade level were associated with the use of marijuana among students in grades 9-12. Males were more likely than females to have used marijuana in every survey year, anywhere or on school property (figure 16.1 and table 16.1). For example, in 2003, 8 percent of males and 4 percent of females reported using marijuana on school property. In that same year, students in lower grades were less likely than students in higher grades to report using marijuana anywhere (figure 16.2 and table 16.1). While it appears that 9th-grade students were slightly more likely to use marijuana on school property, the difference was not statistically significant, and no differences were detected in students' use of marijuana on school property by grade level.
In 2003, Asian students were less likely than students of other race/ethnicities to report using marijuana anywhere (10 percent vs. 22-33 percent of students in other racial/ethnic groups). At school, Hispanic students were more likely to report using marijuana than Asian or White students (8 percent vs. 4 and 5 percent, respectively). However, few other differences were found in students' likelihood of using marijuana at school among racial/ethnic groups. Urban, rural, and suburban students did not differ in their use of marijuana anywhere in 2003, but at school, rural students (4 percent) were less likely to report using marijuana than their urban counterparts (7 percent). Student reports of using marijuana varied among states for which data were available, ranging from 11 to 31 percent anywhere and from 3 to 8 percent on school property (table 16.2).
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