Survey shows significant increase in marijuana use

   < < Go Back

The debate over marijuana and whether it should be legalized and controlled is heating up again. A number of organizations are calling on the Department of Justice to reconsider its new stance to keep away from states with legalized marijuana, despite the drug being illegal federally.

This week the yearly U.S. Department of Health and Human Services survey came out, showing marijuana use is up 25 percent from six years ago. Some drug educators believe a big factor in increasing marijuana use is legalization in some states creating a culture of acceptance in all states.

Ten years ago, 15 years ago our society had a backlash to what had happened in the ’60s, ’70s and early ’80s and we got smart. We decided this was not a good way for our country to be going,” said Monte Stiles, who is a former federal and state drug prosecutor and current drug educator. “We started doing massive amounts of drug education, so drug use across America was going down for more than a decade, but when this drug legalization started again, you saw drug use start to go up, and now based on the new study, it’s going up dramatically because there’s a reduced perception of harm and that means increased use for kids and adults.

Nearly 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older – or 7.3 percent of that population – were “current” marijuana users in 2012, meaning they used the drug in the past month, the survey estimated. The number of daily or near-daily marijuana smokers was estimated at around 7.6 million.

More From US News & World Report: