Buds Win Over Booze Among Americans

Stephen Andrews
31 May 2024

More Americans are now smoking cannabis on a daily basis than drinking alcohol every day, according to a new study. Since 1992, the number of those who’ve reported daily or near-daily use of weed has increased 15 times. Researchers in the study believe that the growing number of users reflects the general acceptance of cannabis among the public, which was not the case in the past.

A new study recorded an estimated 17.7 million daily cannabis users for 2022, which is a more significant number than the approximate 14.7 million daily booze drinkers. That would be the first time the number of weed users outpaces alcohol users. Although, between the two, alcohol continues to be more widely used. 

The full report can be found in the journal Addiction, and it’s based on 40-year data sourced by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The Number of Daily Cannabis Users Was Lowest in 1992 

Between 1992 and 2022, the number of those who reported daily or almost every day use of weed has jumped for a whooping 15 times, according to the study. 

Only around 900,000 people said they used marijuana nearly every day in 1992, the lowest reported usage since the survey launched in 1979. Between the years, the climb has taken place gradually, however. 

The researchers in the study acknowledge that people may be more willing to report marijuana usage now that the topic is no longer a taboo, and this is seen in the increased number of users. The trend also reflects the greater number of legal states where both medicinal and recreational marijuana is permitted. 

“A good 40 percent of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern that is more associated with tobacco use than typical alcohol use,” said in a statement study’s author, Jonathan Caulkins, who’s a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon.

The increased number of cannabis users can also correlate with the market expansion. There is now a greater variety of cannabis products. Weed is no longer viewed only for the youth who want to have some fun. Senior and elderly people consist a significant number of new users, who either take cannabis to relieve stress or pain or to medicate other health conditions with it. 

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Stephen Andrews