In a recent study conducted by Nerd Wallet, some nerds got together to take a look at how the 50 largest American cities stacked up against each other when it comes to health. They looked at fitness levels, obesity rates, and healthcare accessibility to determine which city deserves the title of America’s healthiest.
The results of the study were in no way groundbreaking; 4 of the top 10 were west-coast metro areas. You know, the kale smoothie yoga types. While we could anecdotally say these folks are the Whole Food shopping hippies, they have one other thing in common: legal pot.
1. Boston – A hub for medical research, Boston ranks first in the nation with the highest number of doctors per capita. They also rank highly for exercise rates and, on average, are covered by health insurance a higher percentage of the time.
Along with healthy residents the state of Massachusetts has established a medical marijuana program that will allow up to 35 dispensaries for the state.
2. San Francisco – San Francisco ranks second for healthiest city in the nation. The city is among the most fit in the nation and scores very highly for walkability. The city did it’s part to establish the first medical marijuana dispensaries in the country, and until recently, California led the nation in progressive marijuana laws.
3. Portland – Portland ranks third in the nation with a high rate of healthcare coverage and an extremely active population. Known for bike commuting, it’s no wonder that Portland has secured it’s place at the top of the list. In November, Oregon residents voted to tax and regulate recreational marijuana for the state.
4. Seattle – Coming in 4th is the rainy city of Seattle. Their high scores for the fitness index and healthy body weights pushed them to the top of the list. Washingtonians voted to legalize marijuana back in 2012 and in July of last year they sold their first recreational joint.
5. Denver – Denver rounds out the top 5 cities because of their extremely active population. Outdoor sports like skiing and hiking keep the Denver population active all year round. As the first major city to experience recreational marijuana, it may come as a surprise that residents are among the most active in the nation.
via Smell The Truth
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.
Over the last few years Marijuana has grown in popularity around the world. Many states in the U.S. are beginning to decriminalize laws against marijuana and allow recreational use for citizens. This is a result of the attractive taxing potential and an increase in social movements that support a rapidly changing public opinion. With Colorado and Washington leading the charge in regulated adult-use marijuana markets, 2014 has been a year of massive year for the overall American marijuana legalization movement.
Although the U.S. has started opening the door for marijuana use, many other countries would like that door to remain closed and locked. Many of these countries associate marijuana with a negative connotation, both as a medicine and recreational substance. Many believe having cannabis as the primary tourist attraction can have adverse consequences on the local population. Moreover, lax marijuana laws can lead to crime and no real black market reduction.
In many places, as long as users are discreet, countries and local authorities are pretty nonchalant about marijuana use. Some countries are actually begin to encourage the business that marijuana tourism generates for both economical and political purposes.
There are several amazing places that every marijuana enthusiast must visit at some point. These are the most beloved marijuana destinations around the world. The places on this list were evaluated by social friendliness, beauty, acceptance, and laws.
10. Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaica is a beautiful country that hosts thousands of tourists each and every year. People come from around the world to experience the country’s great weather, beaches, and marijuana ‘ganja’ culture. Although marijuana is illegal in Jamaica, high-quality strains are offered everywhere. Jamaica even offers exciting pot-sampling tours. The laid-back reggae environment and beautiful landscape is ideal place to visit. However, it is important to remember that Jamaica is a poverty stricken place and safety should be a “high” priority at all times.
photo credit: Ian Hampton
9. Portland, Oregon
Oregon’s popularity comes from the state being one of the first in the U.S. to allow recreational marijuana use. Portland’s marijuana culture is currently blossoming. This city is one of the leading places in the country for the social marijuana movement. Portland is also home to the country’s first cannabis café. It is important to add that Portland has one of the biggest chapters of NORML in Oregon. NORML is the first organization in the U.S. that focuses primarily on marijuana law reform.
photo credit: Ian Sane
8. Christiana, Denmark
Although cannabis is illegal in Denmark, Christiana has declared its independence. As a result, this region has grown in popularity and become one of the top destinations for marijuana enthusiasts. The town of Christiana is referred to as a hippie commune and offers its very own “Green Light District”. Locals refer to this town as Freetown Christiana and it has a farmer’s market that was created specifically for hash and cannabis.
photo credit: Mayu ;P
7. The Bay Area, California
In an homage to Amsterdam, there is a city at the northern end of downtown Oakland known as Oaksterdam. The state of California allows medicinal marijuana use, and Oaksterdam is a district that maximizes this opportunity. Oaksterdam even offers a marijuana college known as Oaksterdam University. In this district, there are equipment stores and cannabis-friendly coffee shops. The growing marijuana culture is promoted by Oakland’s considerably relaxed law enforcement. For the most part, law enforcement attempts to fry larger fish, and turn a blind eye to minor marijuana use by locals and tourists alike.
photo credit: ldandersen
6. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver plays a major role in the legal and medicinal marijuana markets. The marijuana industry generates an impressive $6 billion annually in Canada. This figure makes marijuana one of the most valuable commodities in this area. Vancouver offers several marijuana-friendly cafes and diners. Although these places allow smoking, the diners and cafes do not sell cannabis products.
Its important to note that Canada has strict drug laws and issues mandatory jail-time for possession. However, jail time is usually a result of having more than 3 kilos and possessing more than six plants.
photo credit: roaming-the-planet
5. Prague, Czech Republic
Many users are surprised that this country, with its checkered background, would be a marijuana-friendly place. However, the Czech Republic is one of the most marijuana friendly countries in the world. The Czech Republic has considerably liberal drug laws and almost all drugs are decriminalized. These drugs include speed, Ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, and cannabis. Users are allowed to possess five plants in their home and up to 15 grams on their person. This country is high on the list for its considerably relaxed environment and stunning beauty.
photo credit: sarhaynes
4. Barcelona, Spain
One of the initial countries in Europe to decriminalize marijuana was Spain. The relaxed laws in Spain allow residents to grow and use marijuana for recreation. However, the country does not allow public use. This includes smoking, buying, and selling marijuana. In Spain, users can legally possess 40 grams. Spain has a engaging marijuana culture and offers festivals that include the High Life Expo and Spannabis. Aside from decriminalization, Barcelona is a stunning place with picturesque beaches, intricate architecture, and attractive people.
photo credit: HDR-newaddict
3. Seattle, Washington
Seattle implemented legal medical marijuana laws considerably early and recently joined Colorado as the only other state in America to have recreational legalization. Recently, the City Attorney announced that all marijuana possession cases would be dismissed. Seattle is a historically beautiful city that started hosting the Seattle Hempfest before marijuana festivals were fashionable. This is the largest marijuana convention in the world that lasts for two days and unites more than 100,000 people.
photo credit: howardignatius
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Any marijuana destination list is incomplete without the addition of Amsterdam. For many marijuana users, this is the Holy City. Marijuana enthusiasts visit Amsterdam more than any other country in the world for its alluring marijuana culture. Tourists are known to order thousands of cannabis rich products every year from menus at more than 200 cafes. Although marijuana is illegal in the Netherlands, cannabis remains the largest tourist attraction and source of income for café owners. This is a result of a miscommunication in legislation about “soft” drugs and “hard” drugs.
Amsterdam is currently home to the High Times Cannabis Cup. This is a engaging place that offers more than just a charming marijuana culture. Amsterdam offers beautiful architecture, wonderful museums, and amazing landscapes.
photo credit: alvez
1. Denver, Colorado
The biggest city in the first state to recreationally legalize, (and where we call home) Denver, CO is a mecca for marijuana. Patrons 21 and over can legally purchase up to 7 grams of consumable cannabis per day with proper identification. Denver has quickly become a wordly hub for canna-business with many of the industries leading companies operating from the mile high city. One can easily find anything their heart desires at one of the nearly 300 marijuana dispensaries in the greater Denver metro.
photo credit: jeco