Reporting Courtney Pomeroy
LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — The number of Americans who smoke marijuana is on the rise, while the popularity of some other illegal drugs is stagnant or declining.
The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, released Wednesday, estimates that the percentage of Americans age 12 and older who could be considered current marijuana users has increased from 5.8 percent in 2007 to 7.3 percent last year. The number of total users increased from 14.5 million to 18.9 million.
The number of people who smoke marijuana daily or almost daily increased from 5.1 million in 2007 to 7.6 million in 2012.
During the same time period, the survey estimates that regular use of cocaine and prescription pain relievers has declined, and methamphetamine and hallucinogen use has remained about the same.
However, the number of Americans who used heroin at least once within the year of the survey increased from 373,000 in 2007 to 669,000 in 2012.
The results of the study come just one week after the federal government announced that it does not plan to sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from allowing recreational marijuana use. Those states are the first two in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use, but 20 states and D.C. have legalized medical marijuana use.
Approximately 67,500 persons are interviewed in The National Survey on Drug Use and Health every year. See the full results of the 2012 study here.
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