Cannabis Use Now Surpasses Alcohol Use According to new Study

Cannabis Use Now Surpasses Alcohol Use According to new Study

In a historic shift, the number of Americans who use marijuana daily or near-daily has surpassed the number who drink that often, according to a new study. This change, over 40 years in the making, reflects the growing mainstream acceptance and legalization of recreational marijuana in nearly half of the U.S. states.

An estimated 17.7 million people reported using marijuana daily or nearly every day in 2022, compared to 14.7 million who reported daily or near-daily alcohol consumption, based on an analysis of national survey data. This marks a significant increase from 1992, when less than 1 million people reported using marijuana nearly every day.

Jonathan Caulkins, a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and the study’s author, highlighted the significance of this shift. “A good 40% of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern that is more associated with tobacco use than typical alcohol use,” Caulkins said.

The study, published in the journal *Addiction*, utilized data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a highly regarded source of self-reported estimates of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use in the United States. From 1992 to 2022, the per capita rate of daily or near-daily marijuana use increased 15-fold. Caulkins acknowledged that as public acceptance grows, people may be more willing to report their marijuana use, potentially contributing to the increase.

Despite the rise in frequent marijuana use, alcohol remains more widely used overall. However, 2022 marked the first time that this intensive level of marijuana use overtook daily and near-daily drinking.

Most states now allow medical or recreational marijuana, though it remains illegal at the federal level. In November, Florida voters will decide on a constitutional amendment allowing recreational cannabis, and the federal government is considering reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug.

Dr. David A. Gorelick, a psychiatry professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who was not involved in the study, cautioned that high-frequency marijuana users are more likely to become addicted. “The number of daily users suggests that more people are at risk for developing problematic cannabis use or addiction,” Gorelick said. He also warned that frequent use increases the risk of cannabis-associated psychosis, a severe condition where a person loses touch with reality.

As the landscape of substance use in America continues to evolve, these findings highlight the need for ongoing research and public health awareness regarding the implications of increased marijuana use.

Read the whole article from the Associated Press here.

Views: 35
Right Menu Icon