According to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers are engaging in fewer risky behaviors than their Gen X parents did. This is, of course, good news.

Now for the bad news.

While teenagers might be binge-drinking less and having less sex than the previous generation did, marijuana use among teens, which had declined from the late 1990s through the mid-to-late 2000s, is on the rise again. This is a problem because, despite our culture’s increasingly casual attitudes toward pot, research suggests that marijuana use can damage the developing teen brain.

If kids are behaving more conservatively than their parents did as teens and engaging in fewer risky or harmful activities, why are they smoking more pot? Why do 60 percent of high school seniors say they think marijuana is safe? And why are more of them using marijuana than smoking cigarettes or drinking? How have our kids gotten the idea that pot is no big deal?

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