COLUMBUS, OH—In an alarming trend that some are calling a failure of U.S. drug prevention policies, daily marijuana use increased nearly threefold this month among 26-year-old Gary.

Researchers at the Department of Health and Human Services are attributing the spike in cannabis consumption to a number of troubling factors, including Gary- related underemployment, decreased motivation, and prolonged exposure to Josh.

"This is very distressing, to say the least," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who blamed the increase on a lack of programs designed to educate Gary about the dangers of marijuana. "As a nation, it is vital that we learn how to talk to Gary about drugs—and how to listen to what he's trying to tell us."

"We've failed to recognize warning signs such as boredom and a growing need to just chill out," Sebelius added. "But we intend to use every resource at our disposal to meet our goal of cutting marijuana use among Gary by half over the next 10 years."

A recent survey conducted by HHS suggests that the drug's recent popularity with Gary might be linked to his girlfriend Laura working longer hours lately, to his recent acquisition of a quarter ounce of weed, or to his growing belief that it is socially acceptable to be stoned as fuck all day long.

According to federal records, daily Gary marijuana use began at age 15 and rose steadily over the next two years, only to plummet dramatically in 2001 when Gary's mother discovered the remains of a joint in an Altoids container on his dresser.

Despite the momentary decline, usage began creeping back up to previous levels almost immediately, with intake peaking in 2005 following the purchase of a sweet 3-foot glass bong.

"Our efforts to keep marijuana out of the hands of Gary have clearly been insufficient," said Benjamin Whitmore, a researcher with the National Institute on Drug Abuse who recently found evidence that Gary can easily obtain pot from that one guy who always scores the super dank shit with all the crystals. "He already smoked his half of the bag he split with Kevin, and now he's dipping into the rest of it. We're looking at a full-blown, Gary-wide crisis here."

Whitmore's study indicates that constantly being fried can have a variety of negative effects on Gary, including a sharp uptick in the viewing of crappy movies and a noted decrease in Pop-Tart reserves.

In addition, being so fucking stoned all the time can affect job productivity, with Gary often delivering pizzas to the wrong house, or just showing up in customers' living rooms without thinking to bring their orders.

One local marijuana expert confirmed that the drug has become a regular routine—and even a lifestyle—for Gary.

"Dude, he's been smoking up like crazy," roommate Chip Nichols said while carefully breaking apart a bud on the sleeve of Herbie Hancock's 1974 record Thrust. "It's awesome. First thing each day he wakes and bakes, and then an hour later he's yelling that we've got to pack another bowl. He usually stops home between pizza deliveries to pull a couple tubes before driving back to work."

Continued Nichols, "Dude, he's been smoking up like crazy."

Nichols said that pot-smoking among Gary had steadily dropped off in 2009, reaching an all-time low early this February, a circumstance possibly connected to Laura's increasingly vocal disapproval of his habit and to Gary's dealer getting busted.

Despite her criticism of federal policies that have failed to reverse the trend in Gary, Secretary Sebelius said the nation should be heartened by new reports that marijuana use has completely ceased among Chicago resident Erica, who recently got really high and totally freaked out while watching Starship Troopers.