SEATTLE — A voluntary survey of Seattle Public School students showed while alcohol use, bullying and sexual activity in teens and young adults declined slightly during the past two years, a surprisingly large number of students who smoke pot get their weed from medical marijuana dispensaries.
Seattle Public Schools released data from the 2012 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Tuesday. The survey, taken every two years by students in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12, focused on attitudes and the prevalence of gangs, physical activity, suicide, sexual activity, bullying and substance use.
More than 1,700 students were anonymously asked a range of questions, including if they were bullied in the past month, if they had drank alcohol or smoked marijuana in the past month and if they suffered from depression. The survey is used to help identify and monitor factors crucial to students’ well-being, Seattle Public Schools Student Health Networking Program Supervisor Lisa Sharp.
While a number of risky behaviors decreased by a slight margin, marijuana use among high schoolers increased slightly. More surprisingly, 39 percent of high schoolers who smoked marijuana got the pot from a medical marijuana dispensary.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in 18 states.
Among other survey results:
- The percentage of eighth-grade students who engage in 60-plus minutes of physical activity five or more days per week increased from 34 percent in 2008 to 49 percent in 2012.
- Television watching also declined among middle and high school students. In the 2012 survey, 25 percent of eighth-graders said they watched three or more hours of TV on an average school day, in 2006 that number was 37 percent. The rate of TV viewing among high school students dropped from 28 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2012.
- Rates of being bullied in the past month has declined among 6th grade students from 26 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2012.
- Alcohol and cigarette use among high school students in Seattle Public Schools has declined during the past four years, while marijuana use remains statistically unchanged.
- Among students who drank alcohol during the past 30 days and who have a usual type of alcohol that they drink, 60 percent reported that hard liquor was their drink of choice.
- Twenty-nine percent of high school students said they have had sexual intercourse and 61 percent of sexually active high school students reported using a condom.
To view a complete list of the study’s findings, click here.