Ezra: And you don’t mean legal trouble.
Mark: No, I mean will wind up with cannabis habits that are bad for them. Many of them will know it. Some of them won’t. Also that teenagers will use more of it. We don’t really want to get back to 1979 when 10% of high school seniors reported that they were daily or near daily cannabis smokers.
A lot of people on the pro-legalization side are still in denial about the cannabis abuse problem. The numbers are about 33 million people will say in a survey that they’ve used cannabis in the last year. About half of those, about 16 million, say they’ve used it in the last month. Of those, about a quarter say they use 25 days or more per month. In a different survey that folks over at Rand did the people who smoke many days per month also use a lot more per day. That very heavy user group accounts for 85 or 95 percent of the total cannabis consumed.
About half the people who are daily or near daily users just from their own self-reporting in the surveys meet clinical criteria for abuse or dependence. Cannabis is interfering with their lives and they’ve tried to cut down and they can’t. It’s not as bad as an addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine or the opiates or alcohol. But it’s plenty bad enough if it happens to you or your brother or your kid or your parent.