More Americans Toking Up

September 1, 2016

Toker TVDeep-wet gray again this early Thursday on California’s north coast as fog regains the top notch along the shoreline — maybe a bit of sunshine later, but not right now.
Although the NWS forecasts ‘Mostly Sunny‘ for today, it’s a real wait-n-see situation.

Some more cannabis ain’t-bad news — a new study indicates 10 million more Americans are smoking pot than a decade ago, concluding in a ‘Duh’ moment (Motherboard): ‘The benefits of more cannabis use include fewer people dying from opiate overdoses and from car accidents, noted psychiatrist Julie Holland, author of The Pot Book.

This new study was published yesterday in The Lancet Psychiatry — study author Dr. Wilson Compton of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Time): ‘“The fact that people are using it on a regular basis means the public health community needs to be paying attention.”

(Illustration: ‘Cannabis and Politics,’ by Denis Marsili, found here).

When I first started smoking pot in May 1974, cannabis existed in a subculture you didn’t even know was there if you were ‘straight,’ or non-pot-smoker. Although I was probably more naive than most, the generally accepted public guise was pot was bad, given to anarchy and non-achievers.
I realized pretty-quick that was bullshit.

The study from The Lancet illustrates that point, though, nearly four decades late.
Via the Guardian this morning:

The study comes as at least five states ready to vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, including California, which is considered a linchpin in the campaign for federal legalization.
“We certainly expected, based on other research, to find an increase” in marijuana use, said said Dr Wilson M Compton, an author of the study and researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“It’s well known in the US that the laws related to marijuana have been changing; we’ve seen a number of states passing laws to allow marijuana for medical purposes.”
The study used data from 596,500 adults surveyed between 2002 and 2014 for the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health to reach its conclusions about how many Americans use marijuana.
One of the study’s key findings is that between 2002 and 2014, the percentage of Americans who said they smoked marijuana at least once in the previous year grew from 10.4 percent to 13.3 percent.
The 2.9 percent increase equates to an additional 10 million Americans who said they used the drug at least once in the past year, bringing the population who admitted use from 21.9 million in 2002 to 31.9 million in 2014.
One of the most surprising findings, Compton said, “is how many people there are using marijuana in a daily or near daily basis”.

However, researchers did not find a rise in the proportion of Americans who abused marijuana, called a “use disorder” in psychiatric terms.
That number stayed flat at 1.5% of the general population.
The figure contradicts a survey the federal government released last year, which found the rate of people who abused marijuana roughly doubled from 1.5 percent to 2.9 percent between 2001 and 2012.

My underline just above for emphasis — the bullshit does continue…

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