Marijuana Use in the United States

In 2015, more than 22 million Americans aged 12 or older were current users of marijuana.

  •  Adolescents aged 12-17: 1.8 million

  • Young adults aged 18-25: 6.9 million

  •  Adults aged 26 or older: 13.6 million 13.6 M 1.8 M 6.9 M

Marijuana Use among Youth
  •  In 2015, 7.0 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 were current users of marijuana, which means approximately 1.8 million adolescents used marijuana in the past month.

  • The percentage of adolescents in 2015 who were current marijuana users was similar to the percentages in most years between 2004 and 2014.

Marijuana Use among College Students
  •  Daily or near-daily marijuana use has increased in recent years for college students, rising from 3.5 percent in 2007 to 4.6 percent in 2015.

  • This means one in every 22 college students uses marijuana daily or near daily.

  •  Almost 38 percent of college students said they used marijuana in 2015, compared with 30 percent in 2006.

  • Since 2003, 19- to 22-year-olds seeing regular marijuana use as dangerous to the user has declined sharply, from 58 percent in 2003 to 33 percent by 2015.

Can Marijuana be Addictive ?


The chances of becoming addicted to Marijuana, around 1 and 11 people who use it become addicted. Could you be that One? 

Changes in Perceived Risk

• A large majority of 12th graders perceive that regular use of any illicit drug presents great risk of harm for the user.

• In 2015, 85 percent of 12th graders perceived great risk of harm from regular use of heroin (85%), crack (81%), cocaine (79%), and LSD (61%).

• Among the illicit drugs, marijuana has the lowest perceived risk, with approximately one-third (32%) thinking regular use carries great risk.

• Substantial proportions of 12th graders view even experimenting (i.e., using once or twice) with most of the illicit drugs as risky. But only 12 percent of 12th graders see experimenting with marijuana as entailing great risk.

• Only 32 percent of 12th graders perceive risk of harm from regular marijuana use, which is its lowest level ever. Between 2006 and 2015, perceived risk of regular use generally declined, while current use (i.e., past 30 days) rose steadily, at least through 2012.


Marijuana is addictive.

• Research suggests 30 percent of users may develop some form of problem use, which can lead to dependence and addiction.

• People who begin using marijuana before age 18 are 4 to 7 times more likely than adults to develop problem use.

Marijuana has short-and long-term effects on the brain.

When marijuana is smoked, the mind-altering chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) passes from the lungs to the bloodstream.

• Blood then carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body.

• User generally feels the effects after 30 to 60 minutes, including changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and impaired memory.

• When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, long-term effects can include reductions in thinking, memory, and learning functions.

Need Help or Someone to Talk To? 

Please Contact HelpLine at 2-1-1 or visit their website at Or for Emergencies Dial 9-1-1

Report a Tip:

Officer Ben Boruchowitz at

Report an Anonymous Drug Tip: 740-833-2790