Study: Daily or Near-Daily Cannabis Users Outnumber Alcohol Users of Same Frequency

by | Cannabis Times


The Rise of Cannabis: A New Era of Consumption

Move over alcohol, there’s a new substance taking the spotlight. It’s no secret that cannabis has been gaining popularity in recent years, with numerous studies showing its benefits and states legalizing recreational use. But now, for the first time, the number of Americans using cannabis on a daily or near-daily basis has surpassed those who drink alcohol at the same frequency.

The Associated Press recently reported on a national survey analysis, revealing that an estimated 17.7 million people reported daily or near-daily cannabis use, compared to 14.7 million daily or near-daily American drinkers. This shift in consumption habits is not surprising, considering the numerous reports showing that cannabis generates more tax revenue than alcohol and cigarettes in states like Colorado and Washington.

According to Jonathan Caulkins, a cannabis policy researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, while alcohol is still more widely used, 2022 marks the first time that cannabis use has surpassed daily or near-daily drinking. “A good 40% of current cannabis users are using it daily or near daily, a pattern more commonly associated with tobacco use than typical alcohol use,” Caulkins stated.

Caulkins’ study, titled “Changes in self-reported cannabis use in the United States from 1979 to 2022,” is based on data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and was published in the journal Addiction on Wednesday. The study notes a significant increase in the per capita rate of reporting daily or near-daily cannabis use from 1992 to 2022, with a 15-fold increase. In comparison, the 1992 survey found 10 times as many daily or near-daily alcohol users compared to cannabis users.

While alcohol remains the more commonly used substance, the study notes that the median drinker reported alcohol use on four to five days in the past month, while cannabis users reported use on 15 to 16 days in the past month. Additionally, past-month cannabis consumers were almost four times as likely to report daily or near-daily use and 7.4 times more likely to report daily use, according to the study.

But this shift in consumption habits is not a coincidence. It is the result of gradual policy changes, advocacy, and education about the true nature of cannabis use and its consumers. After decades of skewed propaganda and harsh criminalization, the truth about cannabis is finally being recognized.

The study also notes four major periods of cannabis policy fluctuation in the U.S., starting with liberalization in the 1970s as 11 states decriminalized or reduced penalties for cannabis-related offenses. This was accompanied by the Shafer Commission report, which challenged the belief that cannabis users were dangerous and recommended social measures to reduce usage instead of criminalization.

As we enter a new era of cannabis consumption, it’s clear that this trend is here to stay. With more states legalizing recreational use and a growing understanding of the benefits of cannabis, it’s time to leave behind the outdated stereotypes and embrace the rise of cannabis.