It looks like more adults are smoking weed, but it’s not because of legalization. But if it’s not due to the legislative victories of the pro-cannabis movement, then what could the rising trend in pot usage be pinpointed to?
Increase In Cannabis Consumption Among Adults Unrelated to Legalization
As Newsweek reported, the study on population and rate of cannabis practices was released by the Public Health Institute (PHI). Statistics from the report concluded that consumption among women almost doubled in size in between 1984 and 2015, jumping from 5.5 percent to 10.6 percent. In addition to this, 14.7 percent more men disclosed to habitually smoking, a sharp increase since the numbers from 2000.
So what’s the reason behind the surge? Scientists are clear on one point: more adults are smoking weed, because it’s not because of legalization. Or rather, to attribute it to legalization alone is a fool’s errand. If anything, the stats seem to reflect shifting, casual attitudes towards usage.
“Results …did not show significant increases in use related to medicinal marijuana legislation,” stated William Kerr, the lead investigator in the report. “It appears that the passage of these policies reflects changing attitudes toward marijuana use, rather than the other way around.”
Final Hit: More Adults are Smoking Weed, But It’s Not Because of Legalization
Their conclusions are unsurprising, to say the least. Destigmatization of cannabis use has seeped into other areas besides policy; for instance, beer companies have reported a decrease in stocks due to the fact that Millennials are drifting towards wine and weed rather than IPAs and craft drafts. As per a Gallup poll conducted in 2016, 33 million Americans alone—approximately 13 percent of the population—admitted to smoking pot on a routine basis.
Many are attaching lax attitudes towards cannabis over time—a far cry from pre-WWII America and the accompanying culture which produced baseless cautionary tales like the movie “Reefer Madness.”
“These increases are the results of both age period cohort and period effects. People born before 1945 had very low lifetime rates of marijuana use,” noted Kerr. Case in point? the 50 to 59 demographic proved to be bonafide pot enthusiasts, with 11.6 percent of men and 7.3 percent of women proclaiming themselves as proud tokes, a 2,220 percent and 7,200 percent increase, respectively.