A new study finds that daily marijuana use surpasses daily drinking in the US

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Americans Embracing Daily Marijuana Use Over Alcohol Consumption

A significant shift has occurred in the habits of Americans, with the number of daily marijuana users surpassing those who consume alcohol on a similar frequency. This trend marks a turning point after decades of increasing acceptance and legalization of recreational marijuana in nearly 50% of U.S. states.

An analysis of national survey data revealed that in 2022, approximately 17.7 million individuals reported using marijuana daily or nearly every day, compared to 14.7 million who engaged in daily or near-daily drinking. The contrast is striking when looking back at 1992 when less than 1 million people admitted to daily marijuana use.

While alcohol remains more prevalent overall, it is noteworthy that 2022 is the first year where daily marijuana use has exceeded daily and near-daily drinking habits. Jonathan Caulkins, a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, highlighted that around 40% of current cannabis users fall into the daily or near-daily consumption category, a pattern more aligned with tobacco use than traditional alcohol consumption.

Research Insights on Marijuana Usage Trends

A recent study published in the journal Addiction utilized data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to shed light on changing substance consumption patterns in the U.S. The survey serves as a reliable source of self-reported estimates regarding tobacco, alcohol, and drug use nationwide.

Over the period from 1992 to 2022, there has been a 15-fold increase in the per capita rate of reporting daily or near-daily marijuana use. Caulkins acknowledged the possibility of heightened reporting as societal attitudes towards marijuana become more accepting, potentially contributing to the observed surge.

Legal Landscape and Risks Associated with Marijuana Use

In the current scenario, a majority of states have legalized either medical or recreational marijuana, despite its federal illegality. Ongoing discussions, such as the potential reclassification of marijuana to a less hazardous drug by the federal government, indicate a shifting regulatory environment.

Dr. David A. Gorelick, a psychiatry professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, expressed concerns about addiction risks associated with high-frequency marijuana use. Elevated frequency of consumption not only heightens the likelihood of developing problematic use or addiction but also raises concerns about cannabis-induced psychosis, a severe condition leading to a detachment from reality.


The rise in daily marijuana users compared to daily drinkers signifies evolving societal norms and behaviors regarding substance use. As marijuana continues to gain acceptance and legalization spreads, understanding the implications of high-frequency consumption becomes crucial for public health and policy considerations.

Disclaimer: The Associated Press Health and Science Department operates independently and receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group.

Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2024-05-22 23:29:00

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