Are younger or older Australian school students aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?

Among Australian school students aged 12-17 years, the likelihood of using cannabis increases with age. Older students are more likely to have used cannabis in their lifetime and in the past year, past month and past week compared to younger students.

3% of Australian school students aged 12 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 3% in the past year; 1% in the past month; and 1% in the past week. 6% of Australian school students aged 13 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 5% in the past year; 3% in the past month; and 1% in the past week. 11% of Australian school students aged 14 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 9% in the past year; 5% in the past month; and 3% in the past week. 17% of Australian school students aged 15 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 15% in the past year; 8% in the past month; and 4% in the past week. 25% of Australian school students aged 16 years have used cannabis in their lifetime; 22% in the past year; 12% in the past month; and 6% in the past week. 29% of Australian school students aged 17 years have used cannabis in their lifetime, 25% in the past year; 13% in the past month; and 8% in the past week.

Source: Cancer Council Victoria (2012). Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011.

Please note: The proportion of school students who have used cannabis differs from the proportion of young people in the general population who have used cannabis (see FAQ Are younger or older Australians in the general population aged 12-17 years more likely to have used cannabis?). This is due to the use of different survey measures. The school students’ survey (ASSAD) asks respondents to record the frequency of their cannabis use (0-40 times) in the past year, month, and week. By contrast, the general population survey asks respondents to record whether or not they used cannabis in the past year, month, and week.