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More Americans Smoke Pot Daily Than Consume Alcohol, Study Finds

More Americans are reporting daily or near-daily use of marijuana than those who drink alcohol at similar levels, marking the first time in three decades that the everyday use of marijuana has surpassed that of alcohol, said an analysis released Wednesday. USA Today reports. The research, published in the journal Addiction by Carnegie Mellon University researcher Jonathan Caulkins, analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health which had over 1.6 million participants across nearly 30 surveys from 1979 to 2022. Although alcohol consumption is still more widespread, the analysis found that 2022 was the first time people reported using more cannabis daily or near daily than alcohol.

In 2022, about 17.7 million people reported using marijuana daily or near daily compared to the 14.7 million who reported drinking daily or near daily, according to the analysis. In 1992 — when marijuana use reached its lowest point — fewer than 1 million people said they used the drug every day while 8.9 million reported drinking alcohol daily. "Through the mid-1990s, only about one-in-six or one-in-eight of those users consumed the drug daily or near daily, similar to alcohol’s roughly one-in-ten," Caulkins and Stanford University professor Keith Humphreys wrote in the Washington Monthly about the analysis. "Now, more than 40 percent of marijuana users consume daily or near daily." The upward trend coincides with changes in cannabis policy. Trends in cannabis have declined during "periods of greater restriction" and increased during "periods of policy liberalization," said the analysis.


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