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Marijuana Use Up, Other Drug Use Declining

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File photo of marijuana. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

A nearly two-to-one ratio of the American public surveyed says it is a positive thing that some states are moving away from mandatory sentences for non-violent drug offenders. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

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Courtney Pomeroy works as a Web Content Editor at All-News 99.1 WNE...
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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.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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