Published: Sep 04, 2014 9:29 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 04, 2014 9:31 AM EDT

In light of growing public support for marijuana legalization in the U.S., Dr. Annette St. Pierre-Mackoul discusses whether marijuana is "safer" than other substances, like alcohol.

Study Compares Consequences of Teen Alcohol and Marijuana Use:
1. 7,437 High School Seniors were studied.
2. Study occurred 2007 - 2011
3. Alcohol and Marijuana = most common used psychoactive substances
 
Results:
1. 50% used marijuana in their lifetime
2. 67% used alcohol in their lifetime
3. Lack of research is concerning
4. Considered a Public Health matter
5. Study is based on survey results
 
Statistics:
1. Unsafe Driving:  Alcohol (13) vs. Marijuana (3)
2. Impaired relationships with friends:  Alcohol
3. Impaired relationships with adults:  Marijuana
4. Less Energy or Interest:  Marijuana
5. Decline in School Grades or Job Performance:  Marijuana
6. Risky Behaviors in Females:   Alcohol
7. Emotional instability / Clouded Thinking:  Alcohol
8. Regretted Behavior:  Alcohol
9. Involved with Negative Influences:  Marijuana
10. Trouble with the Police:  Marijuana (23)
 
Results:
1. Higher frequency of use = higher risk of one of these behaviors
2. Education and intervention are needed
3. Inconclusive in conclusions
4. More studies are needed