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Marijuana Usage Spikes Nationwide

(Fall 2016) The trend seen with marijuana on the job carries over to the U.S. population in general. This year, 13% of Americans say they are currently using marijuana – almost double the 7% who reported the same just three years ago. More than 40% of adults admit to having tried the drug; this statistic has crept up through the years from a modest 4% recorded in 1969. Current numbers may continue to increase as more states legalize marijuana. Four have done so already (the western states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska), and an additional five states are bringing legalization to their ballots in November.

It could be that legalization is tied to the number of U.S. citizens using marijuana, regardless of the state in which they live.  However, individuals living in the West, where marijuana is legalized, have a higher likelihood of smoking marijuana than in other regions of the nation.

Within some recent marijuana statistics, several interesting, demographically-related findings stand out. One is the link between church attendance and marijuana usage.  Just 2% of those attending church weekly report using marijuana, as compared with 7% of irregular attendees and 14% of individuals who say they rarely or never go to church. Another stand-out is age-related.  Almost 50% of adults between the ages of 30 and 64 admit to at least experimenting with the drug.

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