Marijuana Use at ‘Historic High’ Among College-Aged Adults

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.

College-age adults who do not use marijuana may soon be in the minority, according to a new national poll. Marijuana has steadily become more and more socially accepted and popular in recent years. Now, a new study reveals weed use among college students and their peers reached historically high levels in 2020. In fact, researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) say marijuana use hasn’t been this high since the 1980s.

However, the report shows both marijuana vaping and nicotine vaping trends leveled off a bit last year after experiencing big increases starting in 2017 among college-aged adults. As for other drugs, use of hallucinogens among college students increased in 2020, while alcohol consumption actually dropped significantly between 2019 and 2020.

The Monitoring the Future study has been tracking drug use among college students and non-college adults between ages 19 and 22 since 1980. Researchers conducted the 2020 edition of the survey online, with 1,550 young adults between March 20, 2020 and Nov. 30, 2020.

On an annual basis, marijuana use among college students has increased continually over the past five years. In 2020, it reached its highest level in three and a half decades. Close to half of college students in the poll (44%) reported using marijuana at some point in 2020. In 2015, that percentage was 38 percent. Similarly, 43 percent of college-aged adults not enrolled in school reported using cannabis.

Somewhat surprisingly, marijuana use among 12th-grade high school students hasn’t seen the same exponential growth. In 2020, 38 percent of high school seniors reported using cannabis.

Source: StudyFinds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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