Marijuana use rising in U.S., national survey shows

Thu Sep 8, 2011 1:49pm EDT

Related Topics

* Medical marijuana may be fueling increased use of pot

* Meth use has fallen by half since 2006

CHICAGO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Marijuana is increasingly becoming the drug of choice among young adults in the United States, while use of methamphetamines is waning, according to a national survey of drug use released on Thursday.

Overall, 8.9 percent of the U.S. population or 22.6 million Americans aged 12 and older used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 8.7 percent in 2009 and 8 percent in 2008, according to the survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Marijuana use appeared to be fueling the increase, with some 17.4 million Americans -- or 6.9 percent of the population -- saying they used marijuana in 2010, up from 14.4 million or 5.8 percent of the population in 2007.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the United States, said increases are especially prominent in states in which medical marijuana use is legal.

"Emerging research reveals potential links between state laws permitting access to smoked medical marijuana and higher rates of marijuana use," Kerlikowske said in a statement.

According to the survey, 21.5 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 19.6 percent in 2008 to 21.2 percent in 2009.

"This increase was also driven in large part by a rise in the rate of current marijuana use among this population," Kerlikowske said.

Use of methamphetamines, meanwhile, has decreased, the survey found.

The number of current meth users fell by about half between 2006 and 2010, with the number of people aged 12 and older who used meth dropping to 353,000 last year, down from 731,000 in 2006.

Cocaine use also fell, dropping to 1.5 million users in 2010, from 2.4 million in 2006, the survey found.

And among youths aged 12 to 17, drinking rates fell to 13.6 percent in 2010 from 14.7 percent in 2009; and smoking use fell to 10.7 percent in 2010, from 11.6 percent in 2009. (Editing by Jackie Frank)

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Comments (8)
tegrof wrote:
C’mon. Let’s be more accurate here. There is not a rise in use, it’s the fact that as laws FINALLY become more relaxed regarding a harmless recreational plant, people are more apt to openly disclose that they use it.

With how serious a crime it has been in the US(sometimes being harsher penalties than murder) people would not be openly admitting to smoking it. This prohibition must end, it causes more crime and more problems to the population and economy than anything else. Think of the tax dollars, think of the reduction in prison numbers, think of the families not torn apart by something less serious than alcohol.

Wake up America. Write your statesmen. Write your president. Wake them up. Science has proven the benefits of this “drug”.

Sep 08, 2011 2:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Kevin20036 wrote:
When we consider that the entire case against cannabis is built on nothing other than a platform of bald faced lies, half truths and hysterical rhetoric it is no surprise that people aren’t continuing to genuflect enthusiastically at the altar of the war on (some) drugs. We’d have never heard the name of Dr. Josef Goebbels if Nazi Germany had a law protecting their citizens’ right to free speech.

It’s amusing when the article mentions that interest in methamphetamine is waning, but no mention of it’s being available by prescription and available for purchase at accredited pharmacies nation wide. So why is the medicalization of cannabis in perhaps a dozen States causing people to use more cannabis nationwide, but not increasing the use of meth? The answer is that it isn’t, that we haven’t seen any particularly large increases in the use of cannabis in States with medicinal cannabis patient protection laws.

The claims in the article above are nothing but cherry picked data points designed to try to fool the population about cannabis just a little bit longer. A platform of bald faced lies, half truths, and hysterical rhetoric can only survive for a finite time when the people have the right to point out that the government is engaged in a systematic dissemination of nonsense.

You can only fool some of the people all of the time.

Sep 08, 2011 3:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
keweis2 wrote:
Its time for the “reefer madness” age to pass, people who still believe that madness will ensue from a hit of a joint need to take a hit from a joint, and see for themselves. Marijuana is the least harmful drug bottom line, safer then tobacco and alcohol.

Sep 08, 2011 3:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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California state worker Albert Jagow (L) goes over his retirement options with Calpers Retirement Program Specialist JeanAnn Kirkpatrick at the Calpers regional office in Sacramento, California October 21, 2009. Calpers, the largest U.S. public pension fund, manages retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million people, with assets comparable in value to the entire GDP of Israel. The Calpers investment portfolio had a historic drop in value, going from a peak of $250 billion in the fall of 2007 to $167 billion in March 2009, a loss of about a third during that period. It is now around $200 billion. REUTERS/Max Whittaker   (UNITED STATES) - RTXPWOZ

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