More Americans Using Marijuana: Government Report

Smoking marijuana after school

More Americans are using marijuana, according to a new government report. About 8.4 percent of Americans ages 12 and older were current users of marijuana last year, up from 7.5 percent in 2013. The percentage of teens ages 12 to 17 who smoke, drink or use prescription narcotics nonmedically has fallen, HealthDay reports.

The percentage of teens who were current marijuana users in 2014 (7.4 percent) was similar to recent years. Marijuana use grew among adults 26 and older – from 5.6 percent in 2013 to 6.6 percent in 2014.

Overall, the use of illicit drugs – including marijuana – among Americans aged 12 and older increased from 9.4 percent in 2013 to 10.2 percent in 2014. This was especially driven by the increase in adult marijuana use, the report noted.

According to the report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1.9 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 were current nonmedical users of pain relievers in 2014, lower than the 3.2 percent of teens who said they had used prescription pain relievers nonmedically in 2002.

Prior-month alcohol use among 12- to 17-year-olds dropped from 17.6 percent in 2002 to 11.5 percent last year. Rates of tobacco use fell from 15.2 percent in 2002 to 7 percent last year among this age group.

The survey of about 67,500 Americans aged 12 and older found current heroin use increased from 0.1 percent in 2013 to 0.2 percent last year.

“The data released today show some signs of progress,” Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a SAMHSA news release. “However, we still have significant challenges to address.”

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    Jeff Kushner

    September 15, 2015 at 8:25 PM

    We only have our President to thank for the significant increase in marijuana use.

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