Santa Monica, CA: The percentage of daily cannabis users who meet the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) criteria for dependence has fallen significantly over the past decade and a half, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Data compiled by a researcher at the RAND Corporation reports, “[R]isk of dependence formation among heavy marijuana users appears to have declined since 2002” – from roughly one-in-four to one-in-six. The author acknowledges that this decline coincides with a period of liberalized cannabis laws, as well as an overall increase in adult marijuana use.
Rates of dependence also fell sharply among past-year marijuana users – from 13.8 percent to 8.5 percent – during this same period of time.
The DSM-IV defines cannabis ‘dependence’ as: failing to keep limits set on one’s cannabis use; reducing one’s engagement in important activities; continuing to use the substance despite ongoing emotional, physical, or emotional problems; spending an inordinate amount of time obtaining cannabis, and failing to reduce one’s use despite intending to do so.
For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full text of the study, “Falling rates of marijuana dependence among heavy users,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.