U.S.: Number of People Who Used Marijuana in Their Lifetime, by year
YearNumber of people,
in thousands
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2009 to 2022
  • Published: Nov 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Steady Increase in Lifetime Marijuana Use

From 2009 to 2022, the number of Americans who have used marijuana in their lifetime saw a consistent rise, growing from 104,950,000 to 132,296,000. This represents an overall increase of approximately 26% over 13 years, highlighting a significant shift in marijuana consumption patterns in the United States.

Accelerated Growth in Recent Years

The data shows an acceleration in the number of lifetime marijuana users in the latter part of the timeline. Specifically, between 2018 and 2022, the increase was over 8.3 million people, compared to a 7.7 million increase from 2013 to 2017. This indicates a growing trend of marijuana use or willingness to report such use in more recent years.

Year-over-Year Growth Insights

The year-over-year growth in the number of Americans reporting lifetime marijuana use has been relatively stable, with an average annual increase of around 2.1 million people. However, the growth from 2021 to 2022 was notably higher, with approximately 3.4 million new users. This could suggest an increase in the social acceptance or availability of marijuana.

Analysis of Growth Trends

The most significant year-over-year increase in lifetime marijuana use was observed between 2021 and 2022, indicating a recent surge in either the acceptance or reporting of marijuana consumption. This surge could be attributed to changes in legislation, societal attitudes, or other factors influencing the perception and use of marijuana in the U.S.

Historical Context and Future Implications

Given the steady rise in marijuana usage over the past 13 years, if the trend continues, the number of Americans reporting lifetime use could exceed 135 million by 2024. This projection underscores the potential for continued growth in the marijuana industry and possibly greater shifts in public policy and perception towards cannabis use in the near future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did the growth in lifetime marijuana use accelerate in recent years?

Yes, the increase in lifetime marijuana users was over 8.3 million people from 2018 to 2022, compared to a 7.7 million increase from 2013 to 2017.

What was the year-over-year growth of Americans reporting lifetime marijuana use?

The annual growth was relatively stable around 2.1 million people, but jumped to 3.4 million new users from 2021 to 2022.

Terms and Definitions

Marijuana, often referred to as weed or cannabis, is a type of plant substance that is frequently used for both recreational and medicinal reasons. Its effects vary based on individual factors, but it can often cause feelings of relaxation, altered sensory perception, and increased appetite.

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of marijuana plants, or the chemicals contained within them, to treat diseases or conditions. It's basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it's used for medical purposes.

Recreational marijuana is a term used to describe the use of the marijuana plant without a medical reason, often to induce a feeling of relaxation or high. Its legality varies across the globe and in the United States, it changes from state to state.

Lifetime prevalence is a statistical measure used in epidemiology to estimate the number of individuals who have ever had a specific condition or experience during their lifetime. In the context of the article, it would be the number of people who have used marijuana at least once.

Cannabis legalization refers to the process of removing legal prohibitions against marijuana, allowing for its regulated sale and use. This can occur for either medicinal or recreational purposes and remains a politically and socially contentious issue.

Public Health is the practice of preventing disease and promoting health within entire populations. This can be done through education, policy recommendations, and research.

Drug policy refers to the regulations and laws surrounding the usage, possession, distribution, and manufacturing of various substances categorized as drugs. These policies can range from total prohibition to regulated legalization.
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