Good evening, readers! How many of you are capping off the night by smoking a joint? If current statistics are accurate, a considerable swath of you may be toking as I type. America, it seems, is twice as stoned as it was ten years ago.

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According to Yahoo! News, “nearly one in 10 adults smokes marijuana in the US, a rate that has more than doubled in the past decade as laws and attitudes about pot relax.” Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tells Yahoo! that “three in 10 people who use marijuana [meet] the criteria for addiction.”

These research results, up to date as of October 21, 2015, translate to 9.5 percent of adults in America smoking weed. Reporting from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, Yahoo! details that “increases are ‘especially notable among women and individuals who [are] black, Hispanic, living in the South, middle-aged, or older.’”

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By now, 23 states permit the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and four allow it to be used recreationally. JAMA’s study, however, emphasizes some potential risks that accompany widespread use. From Yahoo!

“About 6.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with a ‘marijuana use disorder,’ or nearly three percent of all marijuana, said the study.

Such disorders may include smoking more often than was intended, a persistent desire to cut down or control use despite unsuccessful efforts to do so, missing out on obligations at work, school or home due to marijuana, and a build up of tolerance or symptoms of withdrawal.”

With all this in mind, medical professionals are wary of a full-scale recreational legalization and emphasize “the need for public education about the potential harms in marijuana use, including the risk for addiction.”

Toke carefully, my babies.


Contact the author at rachel.vorona.cote@jezebel.com.

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