Pot Use Has Doubled in U.S. in Past Decade
Marijuana use in the U.S has nearly doubled over the last decade and researchers from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggest that marijuana use disorder is on the rise.
Based on interviews with 36,000 U.S. adults in 2001-2002, and again in 2012 and 2013, researchers found that nearly 10 percent of U.S. adults used pot during 2013, more than twice what it had been in the earlier interviews.
Also, according to the researchers, the number of people with the mental health condition known as "marijuana use disorder" increased, to about 3 percent of U.S. adults. It was found to be 1.2 percent during the 2001-2002 interviews. People are considered to have this disorder if they wind up using the drug more often than they had intended, or if it interferes with their work or family life.
Notable increases in usage were found among women, black and Hispanic populations, Southerners and those middle-aged or older.
The uptick in marijuana use coincides with the passage of more permissive marijuana laws. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and four states have gone a step further and legalized recreational marijuana. However, the researchers stopped short of saying more marijuana legalizations will lead to more marijuana use.
Their study was published in the journal _JAMA Psychiatry. _
Surprisingly, among existing marijuana users, the prevalence of marijuana use disorder decreased to 30.5 percent in 2012-2013 from 35.6 percent in 2001-20002.