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Turns out since 2002 people have been getting more and more high and the rate of illegal drug use rose last year to the highest level in nearly a decade, fueled by a sharp increase in marijuana use and a surge in ecstasy and methamphetamine abuse, the government reported Wednesday.

Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, called the 9 percent increase in drug use disappointing but said he was not surprised given ‘eroding attitudes’ about the perception of harm from illegal drugs and the growing number of states approving medicinal marijuana.

‘I think all of the attention and the focus of calling marijuana medicine has sent the absolute wrong message to our young people,’ Kerlikowske said in an interview.

The annual report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found marijuana use rose by 8 percent and remained the most commonly used drug.



Marijuana, the most popular drug, rose in usage by eight percent


Cocaine use has fallen 32 percent from its 2006 peak


Meth use rose by 60 percent


Ecstasy use rose by 37 percent


21.8 million Americans told survey takers that they used drugs in 2009, the highest level since the survey was first taken in 2002.

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