The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports marijuana as the most popular illicit drug in the US. Unlike cigarette usage by American adults, which has declined in recent years, the percent of adults in the US who report to smoking marijuana consistently-- about 13%-- has nearly doubled since 2013, when it was only 7%. On top of that, the percent of American adults who have tried the drug has also increased from 38% in 2013 to about 43% today. About one-third of respondents who report consistent use claimed that they experienced some symptoms of addiction to the drug. Also, the rate of consistent marijuana use in people between the ages of 18 and 30 years old is the highest of all of the age groups, with about 20% reporting that they are marijuana users. This is at least double all of the age groups over 30 .
Cannabis is responsible for 16% of admissions of patients into rehabilitation facilities for drug use in the United States, coming in third place for the substances that cause the most admittances. After smoking marijuana, the user will experience some short-term effects associated with the drug, such as red eyes, increased appetite, loss of coordination, confusion as to what time it is, distorted vision and hearing, fatigue, muscle relaxation, and increased heart rate. In the long-term, consistent and habitual marijuana users may experience psychosis, paranoia, heart problems, diminished bone density, memory issues, lung damage, persistent coughing and wheezing, and a decreased ability of the immune system to fight illnesses of the respiratory system. Unlike cigarettes, smoking cannabis has not been found to cause cancer, leading many to falsely believe that this means marijuana is not harmful for one’s health-- with some even believing it is beneficial and healthy . However, this is not necessarily the case. There are many health complications that can arise with frequent use of this drug; they just happen to be different-- though potentially equal in magnitude and damage-- to those caused by cigarette smoking.