Cannabis, which is commonly known as marijuana, is a plant that has psychoactive properties capable of changing the user’s mood, perception, and cognition. Currently, marijuana is legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia for recreational use, and in 36 states and four territories for medicinal purposes in the United States. The consumption rate of marijuana varies significantly across the country, which is primarily reliant on the substance’s availability, accessibility, affordability, and social acceptance.
Oregon’s Marijuana Market
In 1973, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small quantities of marijuana, and in 2014, it became the fourth state to legalize recreational marijuana. Today, both medical and recreational marijuana use are legal in Oregon.
In Oregon, the marijuana industry is thriving with more than 2,000 licensed producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and laboratories operating within the state. The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission reports that in 2020, the total sales of marijuana products in Oregon soared to $1.1 billion, marking a significant 38% increase from the previous year.
Marijuana Consumption Rate in Oregon
Oregon ranks third in the nation for marijuana use, as per the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). This survey is conducted annually and gathers information about the usage of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and mental health among the population of 12 years and above in the United States. The latest NSDUH report for the years 2019-2020 highlights that:
- 27.82% of Oregonians aged 12 and older used marijuana in the past year, the second highest rate in the U.S., after the District of Columbia (30.81%).
- 19.26% of Oregonians aged 12 and older used marijuana in the past month, the second highest rate in the U.S., after the District of Columbia (21.17%).
- 9.04% of Oregonians aged 12 and older had a marijuana use disorder in the past year, the highest rate in the U.S.. A marijuana use disorder is defined as meeting the criteria for abuse or dependence on marijuana, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms, craving, tolerance, or impaired functioning due to marijuana use.
The City with the Highest Marijuana Consumption Rate in the America
Although state-level data on marijuana use is available through the NSDUH, city-level data is not provided. Fortunately, there are alternative sources that can provide insights into consumption rates in different cities across the United States. For instance, the Cannabis Price Index, a study conducted by Seedo, a company that sells devices for growing marijuana at home, ranks 120 cities worldwide based on various factors such as price, legality, and consumption rate of marijuana. This can help shed light on the prevalence of marijuana use in different cities across the country.
The consumption of marijuana in America is at its peak, and as per the Cannabis Price Index, Portland, Oregon takes the lead with the highest consumption rate. The study reveals that the city consumes a whopping 20.6 metric tons of marijuana annually, which equates to 35.8 grams per person, considering the population of 575,930 as of 2020. Interestingly, Portland is also among the top ten expensive cities in the U.S. to purchase marijuana, with an average price of $10.35 per gram.
Marijuana usage has gained immense popularity in the United States, particularly in those states where it is legalized for medical and recreational purposes. Oregon is a top-ranking state when it comes to marijuana production, sales, and consumption. It has one of the highest rates of marijuana consumption in the country, leading to an increased prevalence of marijuana use disorder.
One estimate suggests that Portland, Oregon consumes the most marijuana per capita in America. Despite its popularity, marijuana consumption can come with risks such as impaired judgment, memory, coordination, and mental health. It is crucial for users to understand the potential harms and benefits of marijuana and to use it responsibly and in moderation.
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