WH Report: Chronic Marijuana Users Up 84% in 10 Years

By Ali Meyer | April 1, 2014 | 2:21pm EDT

A marijuana smoker (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) -- The number of chronic marijuana users--defined as those who used it on four or more days in the past month--increased 84.3% between 2000 to 2010, according to a RAND Corporation report commissioned by the White House.

“In January 2012, the U.S. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) asked RAND to generate national estimates of the total number of users, total expenditures, and total consumption for four illicit drugs from 2000 to 2010: cocaine (including crack), heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine (or meth),” says the report, What America’s Users Spend on Illicit Drugs: 2000-2010. (See Spend on Illegal Drugs 2000-10.pdf)

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According to the report, chronic marijuana users climbed from 7,000,000 in 2000 and to a high of 12,900,000 in 2010--an increase of 5,900,000 or 84.3 percent.

“The counts of marijuana users (and, later, marijuana-use days) include not only those who indicate directly that they have used marijuana, but also a modest number who deny using ‘marijuana’ when asked about it in the standard battery of questions but who nonetheless do indicate later in the survey that they have used blunts, a particular form of marijuana use,” says the report.

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“The questions about the blunt use were added in 2004,” says the report. “Since inclusion of the blunt questions increases the number of respondents who admit to some form of marijuana use, this suggests that the figures from 2000-2003 may underestimate marijuana use.”

The marijuana use estimates are based primarily on National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data, along with adjustments from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program (ADAM) and other sources.

“The NSDUH sample does not include homeless not in shelters, active-duty military, and institutionalized populations like the incarcerated (some categories of which may contain a disproportionate number of drug users),” reads the report.  (See Spend on Illegal Drugs 2000-10.pdf)

While the number of marijuana users increased by 84.3 percent from 2000 to 2010, the amount of marijuana consumed climbed by 89.6 percent.

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3,024 metric tons of marijuana were consumed in 2000; 5,734 metric tons in 2010.

In constant 2010 dollars, the money spent nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, climbing from $21.6 billion in 2000 to $40.8 billion in 2010.

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