Public Release: 

Adolescents are not shy about discussing marijuana use on Twitter

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

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Credit: ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, July 15, 2015--More than 65% of the marijuana-related messages posted by adolescents on Twitter indicate a positive attitude toward marijuana use, and of the teens' original tweets evaluated as part of a recent study, nearly 43% suggest personal use of the drug. Sharing these positive perceptions and acceptance of marijuana use on social media contributes to normalization of the behavior, according to the article published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until August 15, 2015.

In "Prevalence of Marijuana-Related Traffic on Twitter, 2012-2013: A Content Analysis", Leah Thompson, Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, and Jennifer Whitehill, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, Amherst College, and University of Massachusetts Amherst, assessed and compared the marijuana-related content on Twitter during two 3-week periods: one before and one after the 2012 U.S. elections in which two states legalized recreational marijuana use. The authors focused on original Twitter messages posted by adolescents, reporting overwhelmingly positive comments on the medical and social benefits of marijuana, with little mention of its potential for causing harm.

"As marijuana legalization continues across the U.S., providing accurate information concerning its benefits and potential harm will become ever more important," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California. "Social media networks such as Twitter may be one of the key sources with which to disseminate this information to teens."

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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Health Sciences under award number UL1TR000423 and the National Institute for Child Health and Development under award number T32HD057822. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is the official journal of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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