Study: Daily or Near-Daily Cannabis Users Outnumber Alcohol Users of Same Frequency

in Culture

The rising prominence of regular cannabis use over alcohol use is nothing new. 

We’ve witnessed myriad research in recent years showing that states with legal recreational cannabis see decreases in alcohol use, that Gen Z tends to prefer cannabis over alcohol and other reports noting that cannabis has consistently generated more tax revenue than alcohol and cigarettes in states like Colorado and Washington. 

So it’s not necessarily a surprise that, for the first time, the number of Americans who use cannabis on a daily, or near-daily, basis has eclipsed those who drink alcohol at the same frequency. Associated Press first reported on the recent analysis of national survey data, finding that an estimated 17.7 million people reported daily or near-daily cannabis use, compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily American drinkers.

For comparison, 1992 was the low point for daily cannabis use as less than 1 million people at the time said they used cannabis every day.

Daily Use Among 40% of Cannabis Consumers

According to study author Jonathan Caulkins, who researches cannabis policy at Carnegie Mellon University, alcohol is still more widely used, but 2022 was the first time that the level of cannabis use overtook daily or near-daily drinking.

“A good 40% of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern that is more associated with tobacco use than typical alcohol use,” Caulkins said.

Caulkins’ study, titled “Changes in self-reported cannabis use in the United States from 1979 to 2022,” is based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and published in the journal Addiction on Wednesday. It notes that there was a 15-fold increase in the per capita rate of reporting daily or near-daily cannabis use from 1992 to 2022, whereas the 1992 survey found 10 times as many daily or near-daily alcohol users compared to cannabis users.

Reflecting alcohol …

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Author: Keegan Williams / High Times

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