Marijuana Used by 91% of Juveniles in San Diego Arrestee Survey

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Juveniles in custody in San Diego County. Photo via

A San Diego Association of Governments report released Friday suggests marijuana is narrowly the most common substance tried by those in the juvenile justice system.

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Ninety-one percent of individuals interviewed from detention facilities in 2017 reported trying marijuana, compared with 90 percent for alcohol and 74 percent for tobacco, according to SANDAG data.

Overall, 92 percent of youths had reported trying some kind of substance.

Fifty-six percent of respondents also said marijuana was the first substance they had tried, compared to 25 percent for alcohol.

Overall, those who had used marijuana, alcohol or tobacco reporting getting started before age 13, on average.

2017 SANDAG study of drug use by juvenile arrestees. (PDF)

When asked how harmful they thought specific drugs were on a four- point scale, 14 percent of respondents said marijuana was “very bad” or “extremely bad.” Thirty-six and 59 percent of individuals thought the same for alcohol and tobacco, respectively.

Ninety-seven, 94 and 91 percent of interviewees thought heroin, crack and meth were very bad or extremely bad, meanwhile.

Forty percent of youths reported trying meth by the time they were booked in their detention facility. Ten percent of respondents had tried heroin or crack.

Widgets Magazine

— City News Service

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