Youth Marijuana Use: New Data Infographics and Youth Perspectives


Two new resources are now available on Public Health – Seattle and King County’s Youth Health and Marijuanawebsite :

  • Youth marijuana use in King County – an infographic data update reporting trends as well as group and regional differences in marijuana use from the 2016 Healthy Youth Survey.

  • Youth perspectives on marijuana use – findings from 26 listening sessions conducted among King County youth to learn about attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs related to marijuana use.


Among findings from the Healthy Youth Survey are:

  • Although marijuana use among youth has not gone up since retail sales of marijuana was legalized, 1 in 4 students in 12th grade report using marijuana.

  • Youth in Seattle were significantly more likely to report using marijuana than those in other King County regions (see map above).

  • Youth primarily get marijuana from friends.

  • Almost 90% of 10th graders with at least one best friend who uses marijuana report using marijuana.

Common themes that emerged in the listening sessions were:

  • Reasons youth may use marijuana..

  • Reasons youth may avoid using marijuana.

  • Youth perceptions of the risk of using marijuana.

  • Beliefs about use by other youth.

  • Perceptions about the ease of access to marijuana.

  • Where youth get their information about marijuana.

  • The kinds of information youth want about marijuana.

A key finding from the listening sessions was that youth want unbiased information from trusted, reliable sources about how marijuana works, including risks and benefits. They’re less likely to take messages seriously if they seem exaggerated or condescending.