The latest Monitoring the Future numbers were released and once again it found that more seniors have tried marijuana than have tried cigarettes. This is the fourth year in the row this has happened.

According to the survey 45.5 percent of 12th graders say they have at least tried marijuana once in their lifetime, while only 38.1 have tried smoking a cigarette. Similarly, 22.7 percent of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past 30 days, while only 16.3 percent sad the smoked a cigarette over that time period.

I find these under-reported numbers some of the most damning statistics for marijuana prohibition. The main justification for criminalization is to prevent people, especially young people, from using a substance. Yet despite spending billions a year and ruining countless lives on marijuana prohibition high school students are more like to use it than they are to use legal cigarettes. Criminalization has been a total failure achieving its stated objective

The legal but heavily regulated model used for cigarettes has been working. Teen use and cigarette availability have been on a sharp downward trend for the past decade, while marijuana use has remained stable.

Photo by Elvert Barnes, used under Creative Commons license