Clinton Administration Reveals 70 Million Americans Have Consumed Marijuana

July 1994, from Rob Kampia, Chapter Coordinator of NORML:

On Wednesday, July 20, the Department of Health and Human Services released the 1993 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, which found that "Americans' use of illegal drugs leveled off last year after 13 straight years of declines," according to the Associated Press.

The survey, which has been conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) every 2 or 3 years since 1972, found that 11.7 million Americans used at least one illicit drug in the previous month.

The survey results regarding marijuana consumption include:

NORML disputes the survey's finding that fewer than 10 million people have used marijuana in the past year: The government's estimates of the quantity of marijuana being imported and grown in the United States suggest that approximately 30 million Americans consume marijuana. Also, the accuracy of any survey based on people admitting illegal activities is questionable.

Lee Brown, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, admitted that the survey might underrepresent the actual number of consumers because "it excludes the homeless, prisoners, people living at colleges, active military and those in other institutions," according to the Associated Press.

NORML holds that a survey that does not include these populations cannot accurately reflect the extent of marijuana consumption in the United States. Additionally, until Marijuana Prohibition is repealed and people feel more free to be honest about their marijuana consumption, it will be difficult to accurately assess the extent of the use and abuse of marijuana across the United States.