2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Marijuana use continues to climb

National Families in Action – The Marijuana Report https://www.nationalfamilies.org/ 
20 August 2019
Family First Comment: The latest stats are in
“When Colorado and Washington fully legalized marijuana in 2012, 31.5 million Americans ages 12 or older had used the drug in the past year. By 2018, that number ballooned to 43.5 million, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released yesterday… Perception of harm continues to drop among all age groups.. In 2018, 1,339,000 adolescents used marijuana for the first time, compared to 1.2 million new users ages 18-25, and 525,000 new initiates ages 26 and older.”

Those who oppose marijuana legalization predicted that a commercial marijuana industry would drive marijuana use up in order to increase profits. Six years after the first two states legalized marijuana for recreational use, that prediction is proving true.

When Colorado and Washington fully legalized marijuana in 2012, 31.5 million Americans ages 12 or older had used the drug in the past year. By 2018, that number ballooned to 43.5 million, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released yesterday.

Moreover, 27.7 million Americans used marijuana in the past month in 2018, up from 18.9 million 2012.

And 8.7 million used the drug daily or near daily, up from 5.4 million in 2012.

Legalization proponents say use among 12- to 17-year-olds is lower than it was in 2012. While true, that claim misses the point that adolescent use started ticking up from 3,676,000 in 2016 to 3,806,000 in 2017 and 3,823,000 in 2018.

Perception of harm continues to drop among all age groups, another indicator that the uptick of use among adolescents is likely to continue.

In 2018, 1,339,000 adolescents used marijuana for the first time, compared to 1.2 million new users ages 18-25, and 525,000 new initiates ages 26 and older.

About the only good news in the new survey is psychotherapeutic drug use, including pain relievers, is beginning to decline, and marijuana use among pregnant women dropped by half since last year.

Access the 2018 survey here.

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