May 28, 2024 - News

Daily weed use beats booze for the first time

Illustration of a Cannabis plant in a vase made of a beer bottle.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Daily marijuana use has outpaced daily alcohol consumption in the U.S. for the first time, according to a recent study.

Why it matters: Shifting consumption patterns reflect changes in attitudes toward marijuana as states embrace legalization and the Biden administration moves to reclassify it as a less dangerous substance under federal law.

By the numbers: Daily or near-daily marijuana use grew nationally by 269% from 2008 to 2022, according to an analysis conducted by Jonathan Caulkins, a Carnegie Mellon University professor.

  • Meanwhile, the prevalence of daily or near-daily alcohol use fell by 7% in that same period.
  • Last year, only 62% of adults under 35 said they drink, down from 72% two decades ago, according to Gallup data, with young adults increasingly viewing alcohol consumption as unhealthy.

Zoom in: Seattle-area bars have recognized the nonalcoholic trend and are increasingly offering a wide range of nonalcoholic cocktails and beverages.

Plus: Cannabis use is up among older Washingtonians, a trend that is likely to continue as seniors seek alternatives to prescription drugs.

Yes, but: More people still drink alcohol than consume marijuana, but high-frequency drinking is less common than high-frequency cannabis use, according to the report.

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