Marijuana Core Measures for Youth, Livingston County, 2004-2016
Youth Data Total
All Grades 
2004 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
Marijuana Use
None None None 23% 17% 17%
Past 30 day use 13% 9% 9% 10% 10% 9%
Perception of Risk 77% 83% 77% 64% 60% 58%
Perception of Peer Disapproval 85% 83% 83% 70% 78% 78%
Perception of Parent Disapproval 94% 93% 94% 92% 92% 91%


The Prevention Needs Assessment (PNA) youth surveys have measured many indicators including what we call "Core Measures" with youth in grades 8, 10 and 12 every other year since 2004. The core measures include Past 30 day use (how many times a youth reports using the substance in the past 30 days), Perception of Risk of Harm (how much does a youth perceive that the using the substance would result in risk of harm), Perception of Peer Disapproval (how wrong would their friends think it is for them to use the substance) and Perception of Parent Disapproval (how wrong would their parents think it is for them to use the substance). Research shows a direct link between youth's perception of risk, perception of peer and parent disapproval and actual youth use. So as the perception of risk of harm increases the likelihood of a youth using the substance decreases.

In Livingston County the Perception of Risk for Marijuana has decreased overall (grades 8, 10 and 12) from 77% in 2004 to 58% in 2016 (See table 1). As a comparison 84% said regular tobacco use was risky and 72% said regular alcohol use was harmful. In fact just 42% of the 2016 Seniors reported that regular marijuana use is risky (Livingston County PNA data 2016). What research tells us is that as the Perception of Risk for marijuana continue to decline, an increase in youth marijuana use could be noticed. This is not unique to Livingston County; it is a trend that is seen nationwide as more states legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes and recreational use.

Table 1 also shows that core measures of disapproval from parents and peers have decreased. Research demonstrates if youth perceive that  parents and peers do not disapprove of  use of a drug, they are more likely to use the substance. In comparison, there has been an improvement in underage drinking rates over the years, but there has not seen much improvement in youth marijuana use.

Marijuana use is linked to other substance use disorders. Early marijuana use primes the brain for enhanced responses to other drugs. There is an increased vulnerability for addiction to other substances, especially opiate use, later in life for people that have reported marijuana use early in life.

To learn about the facts amd myths about marijuana use in young people, please download this PDF file.

Online Resources For Parents:

Drug Abuse: Marijuana

Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know

Marijuana: Facts for Teens


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