As the trend of marijuana decriminalization continues in America, so too do the amount of people willing to admit that they’ve taken a puff or two in the past. According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, about 38% of Americans say that they have tried marijuana in their lives.
With more and more Americans willing to fess up to smoking, one begins to wonder where these smokers are dispersed throughout the country. According to a recent article, these states are rank among the highest for marijuana consumption per capita.
1. Alaska: Not who we expected to see at the top of the list. With over 68,000 people over 18 reporting marijuana use during in the past month, that means just over 13% of the Alaskan’s are lighting up. It’s a safe bet that this number will increase post-legalization.
2. Rhode Island: Another unlikely candidate for top stoner state. Just under 13% of Rhode Island’s small population said they’ve smoked in the last month.
3. Vermont: This nature-loving, organic, and hormone-free state is less of a surprise, but still beat out other states that have more progressive marijuana legislation.
4. Oregon: With new marijuana legislation in place, Oregon comes as no surprise as a weed-friendly state. Just over 12.4% of Oregonians have lighted up within the past 30 days. Now they’re doing it legally.
5. District of Columbia: We know it’s not a state, but DC ranks highly among places with high marijuana consumption. Over 10.5% of residents have smoked within the last calendar month.
6. Montana: Montana’s sparse population has some similarities to the freedom-loving, gun-toting state of Alaska. These states prize their personal liberties and smoking weed may be one of those liberties they enjoy most.
7. Colorado: The only surprise here is that Colorado wasn’t ranked higher. With tourists and residensts flocking to the state, it would come as no surprise to see CO jump up on the list in coming years.
8. Washington: Right behind Colorado both in legislation and consumption, this state will similarly keep it’s spot on this list. As WA begins to roll out retail locations, look for a bump in state consumption.
9. Massachusetts: Around 9.26% of these New Englanders say they use marijuana. The state is still working out their medical marijuana program and will likely continue to decriminalize in the next few years.
10. California: This state has an astounding 2.5 million marijuana users, but their population is similarly large. For a state that’s known for marijuana production and consumption, this came as the biggest surprise on the list.
Yesterday, in a room full of House members representing both the donkey and the elephant, Democratic Representative, Earl Blumenauer, of Oregon eagerly addressed the crowed on the topic of cannabis. Blumenauer has caused a bit of a media ruckus for this passionate uproar.
“Because the federal government is lying to people by saying that marijuana is more dangerous than meth and cocaine, it means the other things that are said about dangerous drugs and personal behavior is undercut. And we’ve had the experience in hearings where experts from the administration cannot tell you how many people died from a marijuana overdose last year. Spoiler alert- it’s zero! The first time it happens, it will be news and people will know.”
Blumenauer is referring to the fact that cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, which was signed into law in 1970 by President Nixon, when he says the federal government is lying. Heroin is, also, listed as a Schedule I drug in the company of marijuana, but cocaine and meth are classified one tier safer, as Schedule II substances.
One of the classifications to be a Schedule I substance is to have no accepted medical use in the United States. The federal government does not recognize that cannabis has medicinal uses, according to this classification, but fifty-percent of state governments have legalized medical marijuana.
He also used the opportunity to clarify the truth about the marijuana overdose myth. Zero people died from marijuana last year. To date, the most shared marijuana article on social media is from a satire site claiming that thirty-seven people overdosed from marijuana on the first day of legalization in Colorado. Many people in America did not realize that was a joke, so Blumenauer is spreading the word- ZERO!
In 1961, seventy-three countries, including Uruguay and the United States under the Kennedy administration, agreed upon and signed an international drug treaty . The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs prohibits recreational cultivation, use and sale of certain drugs, like marijuana. It is not in violation of the convention if marijuana is cultivated, used or sold only for medical treatment and research. This means that legalizing cannabis for recreational use in four states and the District of Columbia is in violation of this fifty-three-year old treaty.
Fedotov told Reuters that this will be an important topic with the U.S. State Department and other United Nations agencies in Washington, next week, and explained,
“I don’t see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions.”
The states where voters legalized recreational marijuana are already violating their own nation’s federal law, so why not a United Nations treaty? This treaty is more than fifty years old, and much has been learned since the days of yore, when it was negotiated. Perhaps this will be a good jumping off point to reform the marijuana policies of the United Nations to better suite the views of the changing world.
As of this week, the number of states in America where marijuana is legal for recreational use has doubled, the District of Columbia also legalized, without dispensaries, and even the U.S. territory of Guam joined the legalization movement. Which states report having the largest population of residents aged eighteen to twenty-five who have used marijuana in the last month? Which state has the highest percentage of people who have ever tried pot at least once? The maps below, from Live Science, will show you that and more using information collected from the results of the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The map below shows what percentage of people in each state report having ever tried cannabis at some time in their life. The survey included people between the ages of eighteen and sixty years old. Vermont is home to the largest population percentage of people who have used cannabis at least once with a hefty 67.1 percent. People in Utah are the least likely to have tried marijuana with only 38 percent. About fifty percent of people in the United States report having used the plant at least once.
People between the ages of eighteen and twenty five report the highest for marijuana use. The map below shows what percentage of people in that age range reports having used cannabis at least once in the last month. States in the Northeast and Northwest corners of the country, Colorado, Montana and Hawaii all rank in the highest percentage range of 23.09-33.18 percent. That percentage range means that in some states, up to 33 percent of the population used marijuana in the last thirty days. The lower range of 8.31-14.42 percent is concentrated in the northern mid-west part of the country and the south. North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Louisiana, and Alabama are among the states reporting the lowest percentages.
Today, many Americans have used marijuana, and many more will try it for the first time in the coming years as marijuana law reform sweeps across the nation. If the number of people using marijuana increases, the number of people who grow their own will probably also increase. The map below shows which states report having people who cultivate their own cannabis. The highest percentage range is 1.5-4.1 percent. California, Nevada, Vermont and Maine are among the states with the most Americans who grow their own. Alaska reported the highest with 4.1 percent of the population. The lowest range is 0.2-0.4 percent. States reporting that range include Illinois, Louisiana, and Nebraska.
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