50 years earlier, scientists believed Americans grew out of cannabis

cover of January 29, 1972 Science News

Marijuana commission discovers use high Science News, January 29, 1972

Approximately 24 million Americans have actually utilized cannabis a minimum of one time. A nationwide study reports that more than 8 million are still utilizing the drug … Usage figures are 33 percent greater than the [National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse] had actually anticipated, however … after age 25 pot cigarette smoking falls off quickly.


Americans’ interest in cannabis has actually grown over the last 50 years. Because 1972, the variety of individuals age 12 and older in the United States who, in their life times, have actually breathed in or consumed the drug has actually increased more than fivefold, to 126.5 million since 2020, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The gain in users took place as the viewed threat of cannabis dropped over time ( SN: 6/14/14, p. 16). And unlike in the 1970 s, older grownups are participating the action, though frequency has actually increased amongst grownups of any ages. Of the 49.6 million individuals who reported utilizing pot in 2020, about 47 percent were ages 26 to 49, and about 24 percent were 50 or older.

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