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Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012
NCES 2013-036
2013

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

In 2011, some 23 percent of students in grades 912 reported using marijuana anywhere at least one time in the previous 30 days, and 6 percent reported using marijuana at least one time on school property over the same time period.

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey asked students in grades 912 whether they had used marijuana anywhere in the previous 30 days, as well as whether they had used marijuana on school property during that time.35 In 2011, some 23 percent of students in grades 912 reported using marijuana anywhere at least one time in the previous 30 days, and 6 percent reported using marijuana at least one time on school property over the same time period. The percentage of students who reported using marijuana anywhere was higher in 2011 than it was in 1993 (23 vs. 18 percent); however, there was no measurable difference between the 2011 and 1993 percentages of students who reported using marijuana on school property (6 percent in both years; figure 16.1 and table 16.1). In addition, the 2011 percentages of students who reported using marijuana anywhere and on school property were higher than the 2009 percentages. In 2009, about 21 percent of students reported using marijuana anywhere in the previous 30 days, and 5 percent reported using marijuana on school property in the previous 30 days.

In every survey year, higher percentages of males than females reported using marijuana anywhere and on school property at least one time in the previous 30 days (figure 16.1 and table 16.1). For example, in 2011 about 26 percent of males reported using marijuana at least once anywhere in the previous 30 days, compared with 20 percent of females. Eight percent of male students reported that they used marijuana on school property in 2011, compared with 4 percent of female students. There were also differences between the percentages of males and females who reported using marijuana 40 or more times in the previous 30 days in 2011 (figure 16.2 and table 16.2): 7 percent of males reported using marijuana 40 or more times anywhere in the previous 30 days, compared with 2 percent of females, and 1 percent of males reported using marijuana 40 times or more on school property, compared with less than one-half a percent of females.

In 2011, the percentage of Asian students who reported using marijuana anywhere at least one time in the previous 30 days was lower than the percentages for other racial/ethnic groups (figure 16.3 and table 16.1). Fourteen percent of Asian students reported using marijuana anywhere, compared with 22 percent of White students; 24 percent of Hispanic students; 25 percent of Black students; 27 percent of students of two or more races; 31 percent of Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian students; and 47 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students. In the same year, a higher percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students reported having used marijuana on school property at least one time in the previous 30 days than most other racial/ethnic groups. Additionally, a higher percentage of Hispanic students than White or Asian students reported having used marijuana on school property, and a higher percentage of Black students than White students reported having done so.

In 2011, a smaller percentage of 9th-graders (18 percent) than 10th-graders (22 percent), 11th-graders (26 percent), or 12th-graders (28 percent) reported using marijuana anywhere, and a lower percentage of 10th-graders than 11th- or 12th-graders reported doing so (figure 16.4 and table 16.1). There were no measurable differences between the percentages of students in any of grades 912 who reported the use of marijuana on school property in 2011.

State level data were available in 2011 for 43 states and the District of Columbia for students who reported using marijuana anywhere at least one time in the previous 30 days and for 36 states and the District of Columbia for students who reported using marijuana on school property at least one time in the previous 30 days (table 16.3). Among these states, the percentages of students who reported using marijuana anywhere ranged from 10 percent in Utah to 28 percent in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico. The percentage of students who reported using marijuana on school property ranged from 2 percent in Oklahoma to 10 percent in New Mexico.

This indicator has been updated to include 2011 data. For more information: Tables 16.1, 16.2, and 16.3, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss6104.pdf).


35 The term "anywhere" is not used in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) questionnaire; students are simply asked how many times during the previous 30 days they used marijuana. In the question that asks students about using marijuana at school, "on school property" was not defined for survey respondents.


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