Marijuana Use, Drinking, Stress All Increased During the Great Recession | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Alcohol & Spirits

Marijuana Use, Drinking, Stress All Increased During the Great Recession

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Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 7:07 AM

click to enlarge A Canadian marijuana fan. - SHREYANS BHANSALI
  • Shreyans Bhansali
  • A Canadian marijuana fan.
It's no surprise to us that the recession of 2007-2009 (which still seems to echo here in Southern California) caused some of you out there to reach for the nearest stiff drink.

Or, in some cases, the stiffest spliff.

Yeah, the latest data from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Canada indicates that drinking and pot smoking actually went up in the late '00s.

The study, released this week, also showed ...

... "high levels of psychological distress."

No shit. (In our previous life as a staffer at a business magazine it was no secret that while the rest of the retail world was suffering alcohol was doing alright. Wonder why).

The fine academics at CAMH found that 5.3 percent of those surveyed were daily drinkers in 2002; in 2009 they were at more than 9 percent, or nearly one in ten.

Weekly drinkers in that time frame went from three cocktails to nearly five.

Dr. Robert Mann, lead researcher here, says:

... People are drinking more often and may be consuming more alcohol when they do drink, although there may be fewer binge occasions.

(Interpretation: We've learned how to pace ourselves and get the most for our money in these hard times).

Pot smoking had been getting higher, too, with an 8.7 rate in 1996 heading on up to 13.3 in 2009. That applies to boys and girls of all ages. But the number 18-to-29ers toking nearly doubled from 18 percent to nearly 36 percent.

But the theme of oldsters having drug issues continues here as the number of those 50 and older who smoke weed more than tripled -- from 1.4 percent to nearly 5 percent between '96 and 2009.

Rock on.

[Read more].

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]

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