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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007
NCES 2008-021
December 2007

Indicator 16: Students' Use of Marijuana on School Property and Anywhere

In 2005, some 20 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported using marijuana anywhere during the past 30 days, and 5 percent reported using marijuana on school property.

In the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students in grades 9–12 were asked whether they had used marijuana at all during the past 30 days (referred to as "anywhere" in this report) and whether they had used marijuana on school property during this period. In 2005, some 20 percent of students in grades 9–12 reported using marijuana anywhere during the past 30 days, and 5 percent reported using marijuana on school property (figure 16.1 and table 16.1).

The percentage of students who reported using marijuana anywhere 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 2005, however, the percentage of students who reported using marijuana anywhere had declined to 20 percent. The percentage of students who reported using marijuana on school property increased from 6 to 9 percent between 1993 and 1995 and then declined to 5 percent in 2001. No measurable change was found in the percentage of students who reported using marijuana during the past 30 days on school property between 2001 and 2005.

Both students' sex and grade level were associated with the use of marijuana among those in grades 9–12. Males were more likely than females to have reported using marijuana during the past 30 days in every survey year, both anywhere and on school property (figure 16.1 and table 16.1). For example, in 2005, some 6 percent of males and 3 percent of females reported using marijuana on school property. In that same year, 9th-grade students were less likely than 11th- and 12th-grade students to report using marijuana anywhere (figure 16.2 and table 16.1). While it appears that 9th-grade students were slightly more likely to report using marijuana on school property than were their peers in other grades, no measurable differences were detected in student reports of using marijuana on school property by grade level.

In 2005, Asian students were less likely than students from other racial/ethnic groups, except Pacific Islander students, to report using marijuana anywhere (7 vs. 17–30 percent of students in other racial/ethnic groups). American Indian students were more likely than students from other racial/ethnic groups, except Hispanic students, to report using marijuana anywhere (30 vs. 7–20 percent of students in other racial/ethnic groups). At school, Hispanic students (8 percent) and American Indian students (9 percent) were more likely to report using marijuana than were White or Black students (4 and 5 percent, respectively).

In 2005, the percentage of students who reported using marijuana varied among states for which data were available. Among states, the percentages ranged from 8 to 26 percent for using marijuana anywhere, and from 2 to 8 percent for using it on school property (table 16.2).

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