More Americans use Marijuana on a daily basis: Study

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on September 03, 2016.

More Americans are using marijuana on a daily or almost-daily basis than they were 12 years ago, and fewer people think that regularly doing so is harmful.

A new study published in British medical journal “Lancet Psychiatry “on Thursday revealed that from 2002 to 2014, the number of American adults who used marijuana in the last year increased by 10 million and the number of people who used it daily increased by more than four million. A significant number of adults also started using marijuana for the first time. However, there was not an increase in reported marijuana abuse or dependence.

The study analyzed data from 596500 adults aged 18 or older who took part in the annual US National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2002 to 2014 in order to reach its conclusions about how many Americans use marijuana.

Among other things, the study found the number of Americans using marijuana in a daily or near daily basis has increased more than doubled, from 3.9 million to 8.4 million, or 1.9 percent of the US population to 3.5 percent, over the same period. American adults said they used the drug more often, taking it an average of 16.3 days in a year in comparison to 10 days a year in 2002, the study revealed.

The study also found that adults using marijuana for the first time in the previous year also rose from 0.7 percent in 2002 to 1.1 percent in 2014.

Despite the rise in number of adults using marijuana, the study has observed that there was not an increase in the proportion of Americans who abused marijuana, called a “use disorder” in psychiatric terms.

“The fact that people are using marijuana on a regular basis means the public health community needs to be paying attention”, said Dr Wilson M Compton, an author of the study and researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Perceived risk of marijuana use is associated with high frequency of use suggesting the potential value for modifying risk perceptions of marijuana use in adults through effective education and prevention messages."


comments powered by Disqus