14.6 Percent of U.S. Adults Used Marijuana in Past Year

Prevalence of use was 20 percent in states with legal recreational use, 12 percent where no use is legal

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FRIDAY, Aug. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, 14.6 percent of U.S. adults report marijuana use in the past year, according to a research letter published online Aug. 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Stacey Steigerwald, from the Northern California Institute for Research and Education in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the prevalence of different forms of marijuana use in a nationally representative sample of 16,280 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older; the overall response rate was 55.3 percent.

The researchers found that 14.6 percent of respondents reported marijuana use in the past year and 8.7 percent reported use in the past 30 days. The prevalence of marijuana use was 20, 14.1, and 12 percent in states where recreational use is legal, medical use is legal, and no use is legal, respectively. Use of multiple forms in the past year was reported by 6.7 percent. There was an inverse correlation for prevalence of any use with age, with the highest use reported among those aged 18 to 34 years. In 2017, smoking was the most prevalent form of marijuana use (55 percent). The prevalence of smoking was 16, 12.6, and 11.4 percent in states where recreational use is legal, medical use is legal, and no use is legal, respectively, while the prevalence of use of edibles was 11, 5.1, and 4.2 percent, respectively.

"Given trends in legalization, annual epidemiologic data on the different forms of use will be necessary to inform public policy," the authors write.

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