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Marijuana overtakes alcohol in daily use in the United States

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A national drug survey in the United States suggests that there are now more people who use marijuana daily or almost daily than there are people who drink alcohol equally frequently. Illustration photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB

Of NTB | 23.05.2024 05:09:31

Social conditions: Researchers have analyzed data from a national survey spanning four decades. 2022 was the first year in which daily or near-daily marijuana use was more common than drinking alcohol equally frequently, says lead author Jonathan Caulkins of Carnegie Mellon University. He researches marijuana policy.

– Around 40 percent of those who use marijuana today use it daily or almost daily. It’s a pattern we see more often for tobacco than for alcohol, says Caulkins.

On Wednesday, he published his analysis based on a recognized national survey that estimates the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in the United States.

In 2022, it is estimated that 17.7 million people in the United States used marijuana daily or almost daily. In comparison, only 14.7 million Americans drank as often.

The proportion of the population that states that they use marijuana this often has increased fifteenfold between 1992 and 2022.

The trend mirrors marijuana policy in the United States, where most states now allow medical and recreational use, while marijuana remains banned at the federal level.

Psychiatry professor David A. Gorelick, who was not involved in the current study, says those who use marijuana frequently are at greater risk of becoming addicted. He says the figures show that more people are at risk of problematic use and addiction.

– Frequent use also increases the risk of developing marijuana-related psychosis, where a person loses touch with reality, says Gorelick.

(© NTB)

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