Cannabis use among Kiwi high school students has declined, new research finds

By August 22, 2019 Recent News

TVNZ One News 16 August 2019
Family First Comment: The survey is based on data collected in 2012! A lot has happened since then, with both the government and also pro-drug groups like the Drug Foundation working hard to normalise drug use. The real test will be to get data from the last 2-3 years and examine those trends.

Cannabis use among New Zealand high school students has fallen across all socioeconomic and ethnic groups, with the biggest declines seen in Māori, younger students and those in low decile schools, new research shows.

The research by the University of Otago, Wellington shows there has been a long term decline in lifetime cannabis use among high school students, from 38 per cent in 2001, to 23 per cent in 2012.

The proportion of teens who use cannabis weekly, or more often, halved, from 6.7 per cent to 3.2 per cent over the 11-year period.

In contrast, weekly cannabis use in the adult population remained relatively stable, at about five per cent of the population in 1998 and 2007/2008, and just under four per cent in 2012/13, according to Ministry of Health figures.

The new research comes ahead of next year’s referendum on legalising personal cannabis use.