The US States That Have Legalized Recreational Cannabis Are Now Highly Using Marijuana!

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : July 22, 2022

The rates of current cannabis use and daily use have increased across the United States. According to a study from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and The City University of New York, the above statement is supported.

Cannabis Legalization Leads To High Use Of Marijuana In US States

Individuals are living in states where recreational cannabis use is legal. It has significantly higher rates of current cannabis use and daily use than those living in states where it is still illegal.

US States That Have Legalized Recreational Cannabis Are Now Highly Using Marijuana

The survey also discovered that, compared to people who lived in places where cannabis was prohibited in 2017. The rates of cannabis users are much higher among Americans. Specifically, people aged 12 and older who consume cigarettes live in states with recreational cannabis laws.

Renee Goodwin, Ph.D., is the study’s lead author and an adjunct associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Renee Goodwin stated, “Data spanning more than ten years shows that, in 2017, cannabis usage was significantly more common in states.”

Besides, an American adult’s recreational use is allowed more often in those areas where it is prohibited. However, compared to states that had legalized cannabis for recreational use by 2017, the gains in cannabis use during this time period were just as quick. If not quicker, in states where the drug is illegal.

It is unclear how the increasing use of cannabis is seen by adults in all jurisdictions. It is almost regardless of its legal status, and increased legal access to it will affect the adolescent population. However, current patterns point to a possible explosion in both adult and minor use. 

The 2004 to 2017 National Poll on Drug Use and Health presented a representative survey of Americans aged 12 and older. It provided the scholars with the information they needed. Moreover, the state-level cannabis rules for both medical and recreational use were determined according to the residence. In all, 784,293 respondents participated in the sample, of which 56,276 participated in 2017.

The study discovered that from 2004 to 2017, cannabis consumption and daily cannabis use rose in the United States. It has only minor variations in its rate of rising due to the legal status of cannabis use at the state level. Compared to states where cannabis usage is only authorized for medicinal purposes or not at all, states, where it is legal to consume cannabis recreationally had substantially higher rates of cannabis use and daily cannabis use.

In states where marijuana use is legal for recreational purposes, one in three (33%) of those smoke every day. Almost one in five (18%) of people who smoke cigarettes every day reported using cannabis in the previous month. In contrast, among non-smokers in states where marijuana is allowed for recreational use. 

Also, 10% reported any usage, and 3% of non-smokers in these states reported everyday use. According to the study, among 12- to 17-year-olds who regularly smoked, the majority 73 percent, and nearly one-third of 30 percent also regularly used cannabis. 5% of teenagers who did not smoke cigarettes had used cannabis in the previous month, and 1% had done so on a regular basis. The online edition of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence features the study.

As Goodwin notes, “States in the United States are enacting laws quickly.” However, there hasn’t been the necessary public education about how cannabis can be used properly to go along with these changes. For instance, New York State is issuing retail licenses. Besides, it is anticipated that recreational retail stores will open within the next year. Despite this, New York has not yet offered public evidence-based recommendations outlining safe cannabis use practices.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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