According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.3% of Americans 12 or older regularly used marijuana in 2012, up from 7% in 2011, it was reported yesterday.
The report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration surveys 70,000 people aged 12 and older throughout the country. It is the nation's most comprehensive look at drug and alcohol use.
Marijuana use has increased steadily over the past five years. In 2007, the survey found 5.8% of Americans 12 or older used marijuana. Perhaps the uptick in usage is linked to the recent legalization for medical marijuana on 20 states and for wider consumption in Colorado and Washington.
Nearly 24 million Americans, about 9.2% of the population, use illicit drugs, the survey found. Illicit drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants and the non-medical use of painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit (for now) drug.
While the abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioids such as oxycodone, are stable or dropping, heroin use is on the rise. The survey found that in 2012, 669,000 people reported using heroin, up from 620,000 people in 2011. The number of heroin users has jumped 80% since 2007, when 373,000 people reported using heroin.
If pot was legalized nationwide, would you smoke more? Take the HIGH TIMES survey.