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Report: Arizona families abuse marijuana more than any other substance

Marijuana legalization activists smoke in the portico of a government building across the street from Mexico's Supreme Court, as they show their support for a case challenging the constitutionality of a ban on recreational use, in Mexico City, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

PHOENIX — Families in Arizona who abuse substances tend to use marijuana rather than alcohol, according to a recent report.

Arizona Families F.I.R.S.T., a statewide recovery program, found that 84 percent of program participants in 2014 struggled with substance abuse, 54 percent of which said they used marijuana.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said marijuana abuse has increased since Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010.

“With increasing availability of marijuana, there is increasing abuse of the substance, and we’re seeing the impact of that within the child welfare system,” Montgomery said.

The report also said 88 percent of program participants in 2014 had at least one documented allegation of child maltreatment, 58 of which were verified by the Department of Child Safety.

Arizona Families F.I.R.S.T. addresses conditions among families where alleged child mistreatment is associated with parental substance abuse.

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