Alcohol is far and away the most popular intoxicating drug known to humanity. But marijuana has its share of followers, too, especially in the United States. So where is weed most popular?
Not surprisingly, the two places with the highest rates of regular cannabis use have legalized the drug for any adult use: Colorado and the District of Columbia. Washington State, Oregon, and Alaska have also legalized marijuana for recreation, but the drug is not quite as popular in those places, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The data, as reported by High Times, show that the District of Columbia has the highest rate of annual cannabis use while Colorado ranks No. 1 for monthly use. Colorado comes in second for annual use, followed by Vermont, Alaska, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Vermont has the second-highest monthly rate, followed by Washington, Rhode Island, Maine, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.
Slight year-on-year increase in D.C. marijuana use
In D.C., 21.83 percent of adults said they had used marijuana between 2013 and 2014, the most recent years for which data were available. That marked a slight increase, up from the 21.2 percent who used between 2012 and 2013.
But the monthly rate of cannabis use in the District between 2013 and 2014 was much lower, with an average of 12.72 percent acknowledging they had toked within the past month. That was a substantial drop from the year before. Monthly use rates are typically regarded as a measure of regular cannabis consumption in a geographic region.
An average of 15.17 percent of Colorado adults used marijuana each month between 2013 and 2014, according to the national statistics. The annual use rate from that year was 20.74 percent, notably lower than in the District but up slightly from 18.94 percent in 2012-2013.
More legalization expected in November
Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize cannabis for any use, in 2012. Oregon, Alaska, and the District followed them in 2014. California is expected to legalize in November, possibly along with Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, and Arizona.
Regular marijuana use is most concentrated in the Western and Eastern United States, with much lower rates in the more conservative South and Midwest. By some alternative measures, Rhode Islanders use more pot than residents of any other state.
But the drug is not popular everywhere. Alabama has the lowest prevalence of annual cannabis use, followed by Utah, Iowa, Texas, Mississippi, and South Dakota. Last on the list of monthly use is Texas, followed by Mississippi, North Dakota, Alabama, Utah, Tennessee, Iowa, and South Dakota.
The full data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health can be found here.