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Health Agencies Update
September 19, 2001

Boomers Don't Raise Potheads

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JAMA. 2001;286(11):1306. doi:10.1001/jama.286.11.1306-JHA10009-2-1

To explain increases in adolescent marijuana use throughout the 1990s, some researchers had suggested that children of baby boomers—who came of age during marijuana's heyday—would be predisposed to smoking the illegal plant. After an exhaustive analysis, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration concludes that idea is wrong.

While failing to explain the recent popularity of the drug, the agency's thick report offers other surprising findings. Children of parents with problems such as major depression or anxiety were no more likely to use the drug than children of mentally healthy parents. And children of parents who believed that occasional marijuana use posed little risk were no more likely to have tried it than children whose parents thought marijuana was dangerous.

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