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Teens shun synthetic pot for the real stuff, study says

The study found that about 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke daily, up a half a percentage point from a decade ago.

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I prefer the green. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

American teenagers are smoking more pot these days but shunning the more harmful, synthetic version of weed, a new study says.

The survey, backed by the National Institutes of Health, also found that teens are doing less binge drinking.

It is believed that easier access to medical marijuana is behind the increased usage and acceptance by teens.

The study found that about 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke daily, up a half a percentage point from a decade ago.

That number stood at 2.4 percent in 1993. About 23 percent of seniors smoked in the last month.

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The number who smoked marijuana daily or in the last month decreased the younger the student was.

Less than half of teens saw marijuana as harmful. Many had a prescription or access to the medical marijuana prescription of someone they knew.

"This data should inspire NIDA [National Institute on Drug Abuse] to examine the possibility that regulating marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes could be a more effective approach than the current system," said Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert.

Despite the increase in marijuana use, teens are said to be using less synthetic marijuana, often called "spice," or "K2."

The annual survey looks at drug use and and the opinions on drugs among eighth, 10th and 12th graders across the country.

The most current survey analyzed results from 41,675 students from 389 schools.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/131218/teens-shun-synthetic-pot-the-real-stuff-study-says