Marijuana News

Marijuana Use Outpaces Alcohol

Marijuana Use Outpaces Alcohol


As the winds of change sweep across the United States, a remarkable shift in substance use patterns is emerging. For the first time, more Americans are turning to marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis than alcohol, marking a significant cultural and societal shift. This trend, as reported by Carnegie Mellon University, is based on an analysis of U.S. data from more than 1.6 million participants collected across 27 surveys between 1979 and 2022.

The per capita rate of daily or near-daily cannabis use has increased 15-fold from 1992 to 2022. This period saw a rise from 900,000 daily marijuana users to 17.7 million, while the number of daily alcohol drinkers increased from 8.9 million to 14.7 million. The trend is particularly pronounced among younger generations, who are increasingly accepting cannabis as part of their daily routine.

This shift in substance use patterns comes at a time when the cannabis industry is poised for significant growth, with the potential for the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana and increase access to funding, research, and investment opportunities. This could further boost the adoption of marijuana, particularly among younger consumers.

The rise of marijuana use and its potential to substitute alcohol is a cause for concern in the alcohol industry. Analysts suggest that younger consumers are turning to alcohol less often, and when they do, they are consuming fewer drinks. This trend is exacerbated by the availability of quality non-alcoholic options and increased cannabis use.

The impact of marijuana use on the alcohol industry is not yet fully understood, but it is clear that the industry is facing a challenge. Some analysts believe that legal cannabis could negatively impact beer volume, with potential effects in the United States and Canada. However, the current political climate and state-by-state policies for cannabis may mitigate the impact on the largest brewers and distillers.

While the rise of marijuana use is a significant trend, it is also important to consider the health implications. Alcohol is known for its dangerous effects and can be highly addictive. Its addiction can lead to a range of health problems and can even be deadly. Quitting alcohol can also be risky and can lead to death, particularly in cases of severe alcohol dependence.

In contrast, while marijuana use can lead to dependence, it is generally not as addictive as alcohol. Quitting marijuana may cause discomfort, but it is not typically deadly. This difference in risk profiles may contribute to the shift in substance use patterns, as consumers seek safer alternatives to alcohol.

As marijuana use continues to outpace alcohol use, it is important to consider the implications for public health, the alcohol industry, and the broader cultural landscape. The shift in substance use patterns represents a significant change in societal norms and may have far-reaching effects in the years to come.


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