Americans & Marijuana

More and more Americans are smoking pot—how can that possibly be a good thing?

The number of Americans who smoke marijuana is on the rise, while the popularity of some other illegal drugs has stayed constant or is declining.

The Associated Press is reporting on the results of the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which was just released.  It estimates that the percentage of Americans age 12 and older who are current marijuana users has increased from 5.8 percent in 2007 to 7.3 percent last year.

The number of total users increased from 14.5 million to 18.9 million.

And get this, the number of Americans who smoke marijuana daily or almost daily increased is now at 7.6 million.

The survey also found a bit of good news–that regular use of cocaine and prescription pain relievers has declined.  The use of methamphetamine and LSD has remained about the same.

Along with the increase in marijuana use, the number of Americans who used heroin at least once during the year of the survey increased from 373,000 in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012. That’s pretty scary.

The results of the study come just one week after the federal government announced that it does not plan to sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from allowing recreational marijuana use.

Those states are the first two in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use, but 20 states and Washington D.C. have legalized medical marijuana use.

If you or someone you love thinks that smoking marijuana doesn’t have any negative effects, let me encourage you to visit the website for the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.  The Center is located at Columbia University and you can find them at

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.