Regular Cannabis Users Exceeds Drinkers For First Time Ever

According to data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, regular cannabis users now exceed drinkers for the first time, due to legalization trends and rising marijuana consumption across the country.

Regular Cannabis Users Exceeds Drinkers For First Time Ever 1

For the first time, more people smoke cannabis every day than drink beer or vodka, according to a statewide research that offers up-to-date information on drug, alcohol, and tobacco usage, mental health, and other health-related concerns. The Biden administration’s attempts to reclassify cannabis as a less harmful narcotic are in line with this development.

Since 1990, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has been carried out once a year, having previously been done four times (1979, 1982, 1985, and 1988). A few years after the Great Financial Crisis, data indicates an enormous increase in the everyday usage of cannabis. Because of “a period of federal non-interference with the legalization of supply,” the trend has turned parabolic during the last 10 years, the authors of the report claim.

Figure 1 shows sharp declines during the Reagan-Bush era to a nadir in 1992, a partial recovery between then and 2008, and substantial increases since 2008. Increases are greater, proportionally, for measures of more intense use. For example, between 2008 and 2022, the per capita rate of reporting past-year use increased by 120%, and days of use reported per capita increased by 218% (in absolute terms from the annual equivalent of 2.3 to 8.1 billion days per year). Since the 2022 NSDUH-estimated population 12 and older is 282.0 million, that is, 29 days per person per year, on average.

Growth is most striking for DND use, defined here as reporting use on 21 or more days in the past month. 2 From 1992 to 2022, there was a 15-fold increase in the per capita rate of reporting DND marijuana use (in absolute terms, from 0.9 million to 17.7 million DND users). That was because of a fivefold increase in the number of PM users (from 7.9 to 41.9 million) and a fourfold increase in the proportion of PM users who report DND use (from 11% to 42%).

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The difference between the number of daily users of marijuana and the substance has officially closed in the multi-decade dataset because of rising marijuana consumption across the country, legalization trends, and the Substance Enforcement Administration’s move toward reclassifying marijuana as a less harmful drug. For the first time, there are more regular marijuana users than alcohol users.

Figure 2 compares growth in DND marijuana use to contemporaneous changes in DND alcohol use. In 1992, the household survey recorded 10 times as many DND alcohol as DND marijuana users (8.9 vs 0.9 million). Back then, a conversation about DND use of a dependence-inducing intoxicant was essentially a conversation about alcohol use. In the most recent survey, for the first time, NSDUH recorded more DND marijuana than DND alcohol users (17.7 vs 14.7 million).

That change reflects both growth in the number of PM marijuana users and changes in patterns of marijuana use. In 2022, the median drinker reported alcohol use on 4 to 5 days in the PM, whereas the median marijuana user reported use on 15 to 16 days in the PM.

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The general public is now able to consume an increasing amount of cannabis because of this improved accessibility. According to a map created by the think tank Pew Research, 74% of Americans live in states where marijuana has been legalized for either medical or recreational use, while 54% of people live in places where it is exclusively allowed for recreational use.

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This is a map showing the 15,000 cannabis dispensaries in America.

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According to a different Gallup research, regular cannabis users vary in terms of income and education, with working poor people having the greatest rates.

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Following the Covid-related speculating frenzy, the leading exchange-traded funds that invest in marijuana companies have started emerging from a multiyear low.

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The Department of Health and Human Services’ judgment that marijuana should be reclassified from the most restrictive Schedule I to the less restrictive Schedule III may be the next catalyst for the market if approved by the DEA.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that, based on data from Wikipedia, only nine nations have legalized the recreational use of cannabis at a national level, including Canada, Mexico, and Thailand.

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