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More Americans are using marijuana

By Basoodler, Sep 4, 2013 | Updated: Sep 4, 2013 | | |
  1. Basoodler

    As the nation takes a softer stance on marijuana, more Americans are using the drug, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found.

    The nationwide survey made public Wednesday found that 7.3% of Americans 12 or older regularly used marijuana in 2012, up from 7% in 2011.

    Marijuana use has increased steadily over the past five years. In 2007, the survey found 5.8% of Americans 12 or older used marijuana.

    The report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration surveys 70,000 people ages 12 and older throughout the country. It is the nation's most comprehensive look at drug and alcohol use.

    Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would not challenge states who have legalized use of small amounts of marijuana or medical marijuana if the states have strict measures to keep the drugs away from minors and have taken steps to regulate the drugs.

    Two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized marijuana, and 20 states have approved marijuana for medical use.

    Until Holder's announcement Thursday, marijuana users in those states could face Federal prosecution even if they adhered to state laws and local regulations.

    Nearly 24 million Americans, about 9.2% of the population, use illicit drugs, the survey found. Illicit drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and the non-medical use of painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug.

    Although the abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioids such as oxycodone, is stable or dropping, heroin use is on the rise, the survey found. In 2012, 669,000 people reported using heroin, up from 620,000 people in 2011. The number of heroin users has jumped 80% since 2007, when 373,000 people reported using heroin.

    "This finding show that while we have made progress in preventing some aspects of substance abuse, we must redouble our efforts to reduce and eliminate all forms of it throughout our nation," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said.

    "These statistics represent real people, families and communities dealing with the devastating consequences of abuse and addiction."



  1. garda_charas
    Haaa! It was legal over here up till '74 then America of all countries got it put on the negative list. Now the chickens seem to be coming home to roost. It was pleasure to read.
  2. 5-HT2A
    More than likely some of that increase is due to chance, and another segment is due to people using marijuana as a terminus drug in place of other more harmful drugs, a natural result of increased awareness about its lesser risks.

    I'm sure the anti-pot crusaders will display the same tried and failed interpretation as before.
  3. varuka
    Found that "Americans 12 yrs and older have used marijuana" wtf!!! What the Hell are Twelve year old doing with Weed!!! I don't mind other people smoking it, but i hate knowing that Children are on any drugs. I have a twelve yr old. Where are they getting the weed? If somebody gave my kids drugs...

    I'd be in prison. For a long time.
  4. Crystal_Queen
    It probly hasn't changed much, just people aren't lying on the surveys anymore lol
    We won't get any real statistics until its distribution gets redirected to pharmacies.
    Then they will be able to say exactly how many prescriptions, side effects, etc.
  5. garda_charas
    :beer I started at the age of twelve and here I am.
  6. HarmRedThera
    In many of the clients I see, family members are involved in the first episode of drug use in younger kids. It's laying around, normalized. Also, many of my clients had concerns that may have (hopefully) been unusual for their ages, like physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, desperate poverty, etc. I have a self-selecting sample of people who had characteristically terrible early lives, so that already confounds my experience beyond this being merely anecdotal. However, I would say that it isn't unusual within people being treated for addiction and mental health to have begun using at a very early age.
  7. ED50
    I still think these figures are off, its still too difficult to provide accurate data from surveys..Would love to see the uncertainty in their results. Still, the message of the results doesn't change, weed's becoming more and more popular.
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