Marijuana Use Doubles in U.S.
Researchers Study the Growing Popularity of this Controversial Drug
New laws and attitudes toward marijuana in the U.S. have led to use of the drug doubling. Between 2001 and 2013, marijuana use by adults rose from 4.1 percent to 9.5 percent, according to a report by CBS News. The new findings published in JAMA Psychiatry showed usage increased among all groups, but researchers noted particularly higher numbers among women, individuals who are black or Hispanic, people living in the South, and middle-aged and older people.
The research, conducted by scientists at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, also showed that three out of every 10 Americans who used marijuana in the past year were classified as having a marijuana use disorder. This means that 6.8 million Americans have a dependence on the drug or abuse it. However, this rate is actually down from 36 percent in 2001–2002, to 31 percent in 2012–2013.
Researchers were not completely surprised by these results since marijuana has become increasingly available over the past few years, with 23 states passing medical marijuana laws and four states legalizing the drug for recreational use. The more available a drug is, the more it is likely to be used.
Photo credit: Leaf on black via photopin (license)