The Oregon cannabis community is certainly a proud one, with plenty of accomplishments to be pleased with. Many are understandably proud of the fact that the Beaver State was the first to decriminalize an ounce back in 1973 and one of the earliest states to pass medical and recreational laws, in 1998 and 2014, respectfully. These pioneering cannabis laws then paved the way for the state to lead the nation towards finally chipping away at the failed Drug War by passing a therapeutic psilocybin initiative and eliminating harsh criminal penalties for the personal possession of all drugs in 2020. In addition to changing laws, Oregon is known for producing top-shelf cannabis particularly in the southern portion of the state that helps comprise the “Emerald Triangle” that stretches into Northern California. Some of the most heated debates that I’ve ever heard have been between cultivators and connoisseurs repping their respective West Coast states. (One thing that both can agree on is that each of them outperform Washington, with all due respect to our Great Northwest neighbor).
With Oregon’s rich cannabis culture and history, it shouldn’t be surprising that its residents utilize the most cannabis per capita in the United States. I’m always dubious of the accuracy of surveys when folks are asked if they are using a federally illegal substance that many employers still prohibit its use, but, for per capita purposes, it’s certainly not that surprising that the Beaver State would be at the top of the list. BestLife explained its methodology to determine the most cannabis consumers per capita.
“It wasn’t long ago when using marijuana put you at risk of being arrested—or at least on the receiving end of a pretty hefty fine. But as more and more states decriminalize—and even legalize—cannabis, people in many areas across the country can now toke up in public. In fact, at the moment, in 18 U.S. states and Washington D.C. the recreational use of marijuana is completely legal, and it is widely expected that even more states will join the club in the coming months and years. With that in mind, we wanted to see which state has the most marijuana users.
“In order to find out where marijuana users are the most prevalent, we collected the percentage of adults in each state who say they’ve used cannabis within the last year, according to Statista. We used that data plus the most recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate the number of cannabis users per capita* in each state.”
According to BestLife’s calculations, for every 100,000 Oregonians, 28,560 utilize cannabis. Colorado ranked second with 27,770 as Vermont, Maine, and Alaska rounded out the top 5. Washington State just missed the top 5 while California probably surprises some folks who may not quite understand the sheer size and complexity of the state’s makeup, ranks 14th.
While Reefer Madness prohibitionists may try to denigrate Oregon and other states at the top of the list, the truth is that cannabis use by adults shouldn’t be any more frowned upon as beer and wine consumption, two local industries embraced by many states. With legal cannabis creating jobs, generating revenue, and dismantling Drug War propaganda time and time again, the local cannabis industry should be embraced and nourished like any other homegrown business sector that continues to benefit the local community, including dedicating money to schools and life-saving treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs.
Kind Leaf is proud to serve Oregonians and be Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique. We so appreciate the cannabis community that helps us give back to our local community. Please see our menu on Leafly and check out our deals and discounts.