Adults 35-50 reach all-time past-year use of marijuana and hallucinogens

Young adults 19-30 past-year marijuana and hallucinogen use, as well as marijuana and nicotine vaping, significantly increased in the past five years

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions (FDPS) President and CEO Dr. Kevin Sabet, a former Obama drug policy advisor, released the following statement in response to the findings of a new NIH-funded study released today that shows “…use of marijuana and hallucinogens by adults 35 to 50 years old continued a long-term upward trajectory to reach all-time highs in 2022” and “younger adults reported marijuana, vaping, and hallucinogen use at or near historically high levels.”

America’s addiction crisis is not new, but it is clearly getting worse. The Monitoring the Future (MTF) panel study shows a dangerous and disturbing trend that’s risking the health and safety of more and more Americans. Today’s industrialized THC drugs and the rapid growth of the commercial hallucinogen industry are preying on people who need treatment and support, not stronger designer drugs.

Scientific data increasingly link THC use with depression, IQ loss, suicidality, psychosis and schizophrenia. The rapid normalization and proliferation of these drugs is already having serious down-stream consequences as more and more young people fail to understand the risks associated with the use of THC and other drugs.

Addiction is having a devastating impact on the lives of millions of Americans in every corner of the country. Federal and state policies are already playing catch-up, and this study is another example of why the legalization and normalization of these dangerous drugs has been a disaster. Individuals and families struggling with the consequences of addiction need our political leaders to take a long hard look at the data and the science and respond accordingly. 

More treatment funding alone will not stem the tide. We also need to utilize evidenced-based prevention to discourage drug use and create a fair, effective, and robust treatment system. The Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions stands ready to work with President Biden, Speaker McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, Dr. Gupta and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to offer a comprehensive approach that saves lives.