Corroborating what most already know, a new study published by Columbia University identifies men as “more likely to smoke pot than women.”
As the United States of Weed continues to reform their marijuana laws, this new study indicates an elevated use among both men and women. Since 2002, men have increased their overall consumption by a total of 4 percent – spiking dramatically after 2007. Conversely, the consumption rate for women rose only 3 percent over the same time period, according to the study.
Men Smoke More Pot
“Prevalence of marijuana use increased for both men (+4.0 percent) and women (+2.7 percent) from 2002 to 2014, with all of the increase occurring from 2007 to 2014. Increases were greater for men, leading to a widening of the gender gap over time (p < 0.001). This divergence occurred primarily due to increased prevalence among men in the lowest income level (+6.2 percent) from 2007 to 2014.”
Representing an increase of approximately 6 million more marijuana smokers with an XY chromosome (read: men), the “fairer sex” recruited approximately 4 million new consumers since 2002. Citing socioeconomic concerns and stress brought about by “the Great Recession,” the study made a rather dubious conclusion: It’s all about the money.
“Our findings are consistent with other studies documenting increased substance use during times of economic insecurity, especially among men. Corresponding with the Great Recession and lower employment rate beginning in 2007, low-income men showed the greatest increases in marijuana use during this period, leading to a widening of the gender gap in prevalence of marijuana use over time.”
Conducted with the intent of identifying high-risk individuals to “target” for future prevention efforts, the study neglected to mention the primary reason for the increased usage between both genders – it’s notably safer than other substances for relaxing at the end of the day.
Ignoring the positive effects of substituting marijuana for more harmful substances – like alcohol and pharmaceuticals – the study seemingly disregards one of the most important aspects of increased marijuana usage… the total number of lives saved.