It is a reasonable assumption that marijuana use has the capacity to increase in states that have legalized the leaf for recreational use, but a recent federal study indicates the majority of American stoners actually reside in Rhode Island and not in the retail reefer states of Colorado or Washington.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health finds that while all bets were on Colorado for leading the nation in pot consumption, it was actually Little Rhody that swept in and laid claims to the title of “leader of the pothead populace,” with 16% of all residents over the age of 12 smoking weed within the past month. This means roughly one out of every six Rhode Islanders are likely walking around stoned at any given time, while in Colorado, the rate of all highness comes in just behind the District of Columbia at around one out of every eight.
It was predicted that marijuana use would increase in Colorado and Washington with initiatives to legalize the herb passing in 2012, but the latest data indicates that citizens across the entire country have been celebrating the nation’s newfound pot policies by smoking more weed across the board – legal or not. In fact, while Washington experienced a 20% upsurge in monthly marijuana usage during the period of 2012-2013, the national average saw a drastic increase in high society from four to nearly 10%.
Of course, while the latest study focuses on individuals 12-years and older, the true tale of America’s overall rise in pot consumption comes with an analysis of adults 18 to 25, which experienced an increase of 30% in Colorado, Washington DC, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Not surprisingly, the lowest recorded marijuana use in the nation is in the Midwest, where it has proved difficult to even pass legislation to legalize medical marijuana. In Kansas, only 6% of the population over the age of 12 has smoked weed at least once in the past month, while less than 7% of the residents in a number of other states, including South Dakota and Nebraska, are living the high life.
Although it may seem odd that Rhode Island was awarded the trophy for stoner capital of the United States over Colorado and Washington, it is important to understand that the latest statistics did not use any data from 2014 – the year pot shops opened for business. It is for this reason that the survey is likely not an accurate snapshot of the toker class in America. However, it does provide us with enough information to learn that the stoner nation continues to grow, despite its legal status.