Consumption rates are much higher in some parts of America compared to others.
I have consumed cannabis for over 20 years. Whenever I tell people how often I consume cannabis, and how much I consume, they are usually somewhat impressed. ‘I am from Oregon’ is what I always respond with, accompanied by a shoulder shrug.
I consume cannabis for various reasons. More often than not, I consume cannabis to relax. Life is busy and sometime stressful, and cannabis is a great way to unwind.
It isn’t that I’m consuming cannabis to get high, although I do that often too. I’m consuming cannabis to ‘be well’ which is a concept that I didn’t understand until fairly recently.
How many people consume cannabis in America?
According to NORML, roughly 25 million Americans consume cannabis at least once a year, with about 14 million consuming cannabis on a monthly basis.
I consume cannabis on a daily basis. I was not able to find estimates for how many others there are out there with similar consumption rates.
Consuming cannabis on a daily basis is not unusual in Oregon, but seems like a foreign concept in other states. There are various factors that contribute to how often a person consumes cannabis, such as availability and perceived risk of use (both biologically and legally!).
Which city consumes the most cannabis in America?
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently released numbers which estimated which parts of America consumed the most cannabis. According to the stats, San Francisco consumes the most cannabis.
SAMHSA estimates that roughly 15% of San Francisco residents 12 years old and older consume cannabis at least once a month. The southern tip of Texas had the lowest rate at roughly 4% of residents 12 years old and older.
The Cannabist created a great map that puts the statistics into a visual that really hits home. My home state shows a clear divide between Western Oregon and Eastern Oregon, with Western Oregon having a higher consumption rate.
There are various reasons for that, and I think those reasons are largely applicable to their parts of the country.
Why do some cities consume cannabis at a higher rate than others?
One very big reason why cannabis consumption is higher in some areas compared to other areas is availability. Any cannabis consumer from the West Coast who has traveled away from home likely knows the plight of trying to find cannabis in different areas.
Another big factor, as previously mentioned, is the perceived risk of consuming cannabis. Perceived risks can be from a health standpoint, as well as a legal standpoint.
Some areas spread reefer madness more than others, which scares more people into avoiding cannabis, and sadly, often resulting in people making less safe alternative choices.
Some areas have some very harsh penalties for possessing and/or consuming cannabis, which lowers rates of consumption. It’s not a coincidence that the states with the lowest consumption rates also have some very harsh cannabis laws.
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