Millions of Americans Have Become Potheads Since 2002, Study Says

The study found that the number of Americans who regularly use pot nearly doubled from 12 years ago, from 3.9 million to now 8.4 million people.
September 1, 2016, 3:30pm
Photo via Flickr user Cannabis Culture

Get the VICE App on iOS and Android

Back in the 90s, weed was just some hippie shit that lame-ass adults smoked when they were feeling nostalgic about the time they saw Moby Grape or whatever. But these days, marijuana is thoroughly mainstream, and everybody and their stepdad in Oregon and Colorado are testing out their green thumb with a pot plant in their backyard.

A new study published in the UK has proved just how prevalent America's weed renaissance really is: 10 million more people in the US have started smoking pot since 2002, the Guardian reports.


The study's researchers took data from nearly 600,000 Americans surveyed since the turn of the 21st century, finding a 2.9 percent bump between 2002 and 2014 of citizens who admitted to blazing at least once over the past year. According to the study, today, 13.3 percent of the US population burns one down at least once in a while.

"We certainly expected, based on other research, to find an increase," Dr. Wilson Compton, one of the study's authors, told the Guardian. "It's well known in the US that the laws related to marijuana have been changing; we've seen a number of states passing laws to allow marijuana for medical purposes."

What's more, daily pot use has also increased dramatically. The study found that the number of people who regularly smoke nearly doubled, from 3.9 million to 8.4 million people.

While almost half of the US has laws legalizing the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the drug is still far from accepted nationwide—parents in states with strict weed laws still risk losing their kids to Child Protective Services for their marijuana use, and the DEA still thinks the drug belongs in the same class as heroin and bath salts.

Read: Teens Aren't Smoking Weed Even Though It's Legal, Study Says