The northeastern part of the United States possesses the highest rates of self-reported marijuana consumption, according to a new federal government report.
As a region, New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) rank in the top percentile for marijuana use in virtually every category surveyed -- including 'marijuana use in the past year among youths age 12 to 17,' 'marijuana use in the past year among persons age 18 to 25,' 'marijuana use in the past year among persons aged 12 and older,' and 'marijuana use in the past month among persons age 26 or older.'
Other states that consistently ranked in the top percentile of marijuana use in the United States are Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, and Oregon.
Nationally, the study reported "no increases in current illicit drug use occurred in any state" among those aged 12 to 17 between the years 2002-2003 and 2008-2009. The finding rebuffs claims recently made by the Drug Czar and other federal officials that the implementation of statewide medical marijuana laws -- most of which were enacted between the years 1998 and 2004 -- is encouraging increased use of cannabis and other illicit substances by young people.
A separate study published in June by the Marijuana Policy Project also reported, "[O]f the 13 states with available data, teen use rates have stayed the same or decreased since enacting medical marijuana laws."
The state-by-state consumption data was compiled from the federal government's annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which interviewed approximately 138,000 Americans age 12 and over in 2008-2009 on their use of licit and illicit substances.
Full text of the study, "State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008-2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health," is available online from the US Department of Health and Services.
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500, or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.