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September 8, 2011

Interesting new information about US marijuana use and its potential benefits

These two notable new stories indicate that marijuana use is growing in the US and that this use might enable some individuals to stop growing:

Here is the start of each of these two pieces, respectively:

Marijuana is increasingly becoming the drug of choice among young adults in the United States, while use of methamphetamines is waning, according to a national survey of drug use released on Thursday.

Overall, 8.9 percent of the U.S. population or 22.6 million Americans aged 12 and older used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 8.7 percent in 2009 and 8 percent in 2008, according to the survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Marijuana use appeared to be fueling the increase, with some 17.4 million Americans -- or 6.9 percent of the population -- saying they used marijuana in 2010, up from 14.4 million or 5.8 percent of the population in 2007.

Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the United States, said increases are especially prominent in states in which medical marijuana use is legal. "Emerging research reveals potential links between state laws permitting access to smoked medical marijuana and higher rates of marijuana use," Kerlikowske said in a statement.

According to the survey, 21.5 percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 used illicit drugs in 2010, up from 19.6 percent in 2008 to 21.2 percent in 2009. "This increase was also driven in large part by a rise in the rate of current marijuana use among this population," Kerlikowske said.

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If cannabis causes the munchies, how is possible that pot smokers are thinner than nonsmokers?  A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology finds an intriguing connection between marijuana use and body weight, showing that rates of obesity are lower by roughly a third in people who smoke pot at least three times a week, compared with those who don't use marijuana at all.

September 8, 2011 at 05:39 PM | Permalink

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