Study: Daily Marijuana Use Surpasses Drinking in the US

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TL/DR –

In 2022, an estimated 17.7 million people reported daily or near-daily marijuana use, surpassing the 14.7 million daily or near-daily alcohol users for the first time. From 1992 to 2022, the per capita rate of daily or near-daily marijuana use increased 15-fold. The increase could be due to growing public acceptance of marijuana use, according to Jonathan Caulkins, the author of the study and a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.


Daily Marijuana Use Overtakes Daily Drinking in the U.S for the First Time

In a landmark shift, daily marijuana use has overtaken daily alcohol consumption in the United States, as per a recent analysis of national survey data. The study reveals that in 2022, an estimated 17.7 million people reported using marijuana daily or near-daily, compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily alcohol drinkers.

This rise in marijuana use appears to be a trend 40 years in the making, coinciding with the widespread legalization and mainstream acceptance of recreational cannabis across almost half of the U.S. states.

Cannabis policy researcher Jonathan Caulkins, the study’s author, notes that daily or near-daily use constitutes a substantial 40% of current cannabis users – a pattern more akin to tobacco use than typical alcohol consumption.

The findings, derived from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, indicate a 15-fold increase in per capita daily or near-daily marijuana use, from 1992 to 2022.

Although most states now allow medical or recreational marijuana use, it remains federally illegal. However, with growing public acceptance and potential federal reclassification of marijuana as a less dangerous drug underway, reported use is expected to rise.

The increase in high-frequency users implies more people at risk for problematic cannabis use or addiction, according to Dr. David A. Gorelick, a psychiatry professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. High frequency use also elevates the risk of developing cannabis-associated psychosis, a severe condition causing a person to lose touch with reality.

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