Study shows the poor and less educated consume more marijuana

  • A new study analyzed 10 years data from the federal surveys of drug use, starting from the year 2002 up to 2013
  • Researchers Steven Davenport and Jonathan Caulkins arrived at a conclusion that marijuana users are more similar to cigarette smokers than alcohol drinkers
  • The study found out that those who lack a high school education and earn less than $20,000 are the most frequent users of marijuana
  • Results of the study were published in the Journal of Drug Issues for its August edition

USA – A new research done in the US have found out that those who lack a high school education and earn less than $20,000 are the most frequent users of marijuana in the country.

The study, which was published in Journal of Drug Issues for its August edition, analyzed 10 years data from the federal surveys of drug use, starting from the year 2002 up to 2013. The researchers’ main goal was to pinpoint the characteristics of a marijuana user.

Researchers Steven Davenport and Jonathan Caulkins arrived at a conclusion that marijuana users are more similar to cigarette smokers than alcohol drinkers.

The research said that in the early 1990s the number of people using marijuana on a daily basis was one in every nine (11.11%), and was drastically increased in 2013 to one in every three (33.33%).

“Daily or near-daily users now account for over two-thirds of self-reported days of use (68 percent),” the study said.

“What’s going on here is that over the last 20 years marijuana went from being used like alcohol to being used more like tobacco, in the sense of lots of people using it every day,” Caulkins said as quoted by Christopher Ingraham in an article for The Washington Post.

Upon analyzing more, the team found out that 19 percent of marijuana users in 2012 and 2013 lacked a high school diploma, compared to 13 percent of the total adult population, and 20 percent of all cigarette users.

The study also found a significant relationship between marijuana use and income. The study found that 29 percent of all marijuana users are those who have annual earnings of less than $20,000, with 15 percent spending a full quarter of their income on marijuana.

An article by RT News said that the study also reviewed the criminal risk related to marijuana use and the researchers found out that as marijuana laws became more liberal over the past decade, the number of marijuana arrests fell.

Back in 2002, there was one arrest for every 550 marijuana purchases, however, in 2013 it became one arrest for every 1,090 purchases.

“Most people who have used marijuana in the past year are in full control of their use, and are generally happy with that use,” Caulkins said.

“Consumption is highly concentrated among the smaller number of daily and near-daily users, and they tend to be less educated, less affluent, and less in control of their use,” he added.

Caulkins said they would support liberal marijuana laws, however, the laws should be accompanied by treatment programs and public awareness campaigns.

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