Daily marijuana use outnumbers daily drinking in the US: study

Millions of people in the U.S. report using marijuana daily or nearly every day, and those people now outnumber those who say they drink alcohol daily or nearly-daily. 

That’s according to an analysis of national survey data published Wednesday in the journal Addiction. 

In 2022, an estimated 17.7 million people reported using marijuana daily or near-daily compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily drinkers, according to the study.


FILE - A hand holds a joint next to a glass of beer. (Photo by Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Alcohol is still more widely used, but 2022 was the first time this intensive level of marijuana use overtook daily and near-daily drinking, said the study’s author, Jonathan Caulkins, a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University.

"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.

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Caulkins acknowledged in the study that people may be more willing to report marijuana use as public acceptance grows, which could boost the increase.

Most states now allow medical or recreational marijuana, though it remains illegal at the federal level. The federal government is moving to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug.

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The data came from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a highly regarded source of self-reported estimates of tobacco, alcohol and drug use. 

Other research shows that high-frequency users are more likely to become addicted to marijuana and more likely to develop cannabis-associated psychosis, a severe condition where a person loses touch with reality.

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.