R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House ONDCP, Calls on Parents to Help Stop Synthetic Marijuana Use by Teens

The results of The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study – a highly respected annual survey on teen drug abuse tracking 47,000 8th, 10th and 12th graders—were released today and show an increasing teen involvement with marijuana, particularly in daily use.  Additionally, synthetic marijuana, widely known as K2 or spice, is gaining attention among high school seniors, with one in every nine reporting use.  

R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, voiced concerns about the findings and believes parents are the key influencers when it comes to stopping the use of synthetic marijuana by teens. 

“It’s not in the vocabulary of parents, and they need to be aware of it so that when they have that conversation about substance abuse they are knowledgeable,” he said in a statement.  “These drugs are dangerous and can cause serious harm.” 

Kerlikowske also expressed his belief that the increasing societal prevalence of medical marijuana may be a key contributing factor to the rise in teen marijuana use shown in the survey results. 

Our President and CEO Steve Pasierb echoed Kerlikowske’s sentiments about the importance of parental intervention when it comes to teen marijuana use.  “We know communication between parents and kids is the most effective prevention tool. We need to remain vigilant and parents who know their child may be using need to intervene.” 

To learn how you can act if you suspect your child is using drugs or alcohol, visit our intervention resource tool Time To Act.  Parents who are faced with a child who is struggling with substance abuse or addiction can also call our Parents Toll-Free Helpline (855-DRUGFREE) or visit Time To Get Help, a parent-to-parent website and online community that provides lifesaving information when families are in crisis. 

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