A new study in the American Medical Association’s Jama Psychiatry shows that marijuana use more than doubled from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013. In that time the percentage of adults in the U.S. who used cannabis in the past year went from 4.1% to 9.5%.
These numbers don’t come as a surprise to most people. It’s no secret that cannabis has become much more mainstream since the early ’00s. In fact, marijuana has become much more mainstream in just the last few years.
But something else happened in those ten years: the Internet exploded. In 2002 social media didn’t exist. Internet use was mostly chat rooms/forums, news websites and porn. Information was shared, but at a much slower pace and on a much smaller scale.
With the expansion of the Internet came an expansion of information sharing and a spreading of truth. Nowadays if you hear something about cannabis you can just go research it to see if it’s true.
With truth comes the realization for many that they have been lied to about cannabis. It doesn’t make you lazy or crazy or kill your brain cells or give you cancer. Marijuana users aren’t roaming the streets like zombies, robbing people so they can get their next fix.
Because the facts are getting out there, more young people are experimenting with weed instead of alcohol, pills and harder illicit drugs. This is a good thing and it will save many lives. The percentage of adults using cannabis will likely continue to go up for many years to come.
Prohibitionists will bemoan the fact that cannabis use on the rise and will predict the end of days because of it. But most people now know the truth: more people are consuming cannabis and it’s no big deal.
It’s just a plant, man.