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Marijuana Apparently Unpopular in Texas

Texas has one of the lowest rates of marijuana use in the country, according to a closely watched federal report. Recently released state level datafrom the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows less than five percent of Texas adults said they had used marijuana in the last month.

Among teenagers, six percent reporting having used marijuana in the last month. That rose to almost 14 percent for the 18-25 year old demographic. Only three percent of adults over 26 in Texas said they had used pot in the last month. The survey data was collected in 2010 and 2011. 

"People who are against [marijuana legalization] will say, 'See, prohibition works,' and those who want to legalize it will say, 'There's no real danger,'" says William Martin, director of theBaker Institute's Drug Policy Program at Rice University. "I think you see in states like Colorado, there doesn't seem to be any rush to use by young people, which is what I think is what most people are most concerned about." 

The NSDUH survey did not ask about specific concerns, but 38 percent of Texas adults said using marijuana once a month carries a "great risk."
Martin supports legalizing marijuana and admits it would probably cause the rate of Texas users to increase. 

"The question is, is that a problem? And is it anywhere near the problem that prohibition creates, a criminal record for people?" he says. 

The survey also found almost 52 percent of Texas adults drank alcohol in the last month, and 26 percent admitted to binge drinking. The Centers for Disease Control says you're binge drinking if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher. For a man, that's typically five or more drinks in two hours. For a woman its about four or more drinks in two hours, the CDC says.

Marijuana consumption was highest in Rhode Island. Thirteen percent of people 18 years or older said they had used pot in the last month. Check outthese maps for more details on marijuana use among the states.

Credit SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, NSDUH, 2011 and 2012
This shows the rate of marijuana use "in the past month" by people 12 and older. The data were collected in 2010 and 2011.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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